Early results on the use of a new dedicated lane at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry show significant reductions in wait times to cross the border.
On average, travelers using the Ready Lane –which expedites crossing for vehicle users with certain types of U.S. passports -- are reducing their wait by at least 20 minutes, compared to users of regular lanes at the Otay Mesa Port, officials said.
“People are saving time using Ready Lanes,” said Jacqueline Wasiluk, spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
During the first Saturday of its use,May 7, Ready Lane users waited 22 minutes fewer than those using regular lanes, Wasiluk said. The wait was 46 minutes shorter on Sunday. Wasiluk did not have the actual waiting times available early on Tuesday.
The Ready Lane has been expanded to more than one lane when traffic demand is high, Wasiluk said.
CBPopened the new lane two weeks ago for vehicle users who have travel document cards that contain Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.Such documents include U.S. passport, SENTRI and new legal permanent resident and border crossing cards. Wireless technology allows these cards to be read from up to 30 feet away, allowing for faster screening and processing of travelers.
The Ready Lane is particularly popular with frequent border crossers because it allows them to use different types of travel documents, she said.
SENTRI lanes remain faster but all occupants in a vehicle must have SENTRI cards to use them. SENTRI participants must pass a background check and interview before receiving their cards.
U.S. and Mexican authorities have been promoting the use of the Ready Lane, using social media, paid advertisements and word of mouth.
The approach to the lane is marked in Tijuana. The lane is on the far west side of the lanes of traffic, 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.
U.S. officials encourage travelers to obtain RFID-enabled cards to expedite their entry.
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