Weekend hours for a new fast lane at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry are being extended beginning this Saturday due to strong demand for the service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said on Thursday.
Travelers using the Ready Lane, which opened more than two weeks ago, are reducing their wait to cross the border from Tijuana into San Diego by at least 20 minutes compared to users of regular lanes at the Otay Mesa port of entry.
The Ready Lane is reserved for vehicle occupants who have certain types of U.S. passports that allow for easier and faster inspections at the busy border crossing.
Those documents include U.S. passport, SENTRI and new legal permanent resident and border crossing cards. These cards contain Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) wireless technology and can be read from up to 30 feet away, allowing for faster screening and processing of travelers.
The Ready Lane will now operate from 8 a.m. until midnight on Saturdays and Sundays. Previously, it closed at 10 p.m. on these days.
Hours on Monday through Friday will remain the same:4 a.m. until 8 p.m. The lane will be open from 8 a.m. until midnight on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30.
"We are keeping the Ready Lane at Otay Mesa open later in response to increased demand, and hope that these shorter wait times will continue to persuade others to go out and get an RFID-enabled travel document," said Chris Maston, Director of Field Operations for CBP in San Diego, in a statement. "With more travelers using these documents, coupled with traffic optimization at the port of entry, we are ensuring travelers experience significant time savings."
The approach to the lane is marked in Tijuana. The lane is on the far west side of the traffic lanes, about one third of a mile before the Otay Mesa border crossing.
Using the Ready Lane is a three-step process.
Stop at the beginning of the lane and make sure each passenger has their card out
When signaled, drive slowly through the lane and hold all cards up on the driver's side of the vehicle
Stop at the officer's booth and be ready to show documents
View this video provided by CPB to see how the new ready lane will function.
To use this lane all occupants in a vehicle must be older than 16 and present these traveling cards.
For additional information about the Ready Lane in Spanish visit: www.getyouhome.gov