SAN DIEGO.- The border crossing at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, one of the most transited in the World, will be operating at maximum capacity this weekend, with its 25 access lanes with double booths, as well as the additional 5 lanes in opposite direction that will be inaugurated.
This program is part of a test that will be in effect until august 19th and has been possible due to investments made by both sides of the border, this will mark a significant reduction in the long wait times to cross the border as well as reducing the air pollution from cars being on but not moving for long periods of time.
Victor Rangel, Secretary of Infrastructure and Urban Development in Baja California, told EFE that opening the lanes was imperative to alleviate both pollution and traffic in the streets of Tijuana, for those of you who may not know, the lanes have been known to extend all the way to Plaza Rio in Tijuana, that's roughly 10 blocks of vehicles moving slowly without even getting to the actual lanes themselves.
“We expect that this will make a significant impact, by reducing at least an hour and a half of vehicular wait time, and increasing the wait capacity to 300 cars in lanes, with a relatively modest investment of $2.8 Million Pesos ($217,000 dollars) we have reconditioned the old Mexico Gateway”, Rangel indicated.
In a simultaneous manner, the United States opened 8 additional booths that were being built at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, which for the first time since the remodeling work started, all 25 inspection lanes will be available with 2 officers checking documentation per lane, although starting August the 19th, some lanes will be closed in an escalated manner to build a steel cover.
Mexican authorities have also indicated that they are near finishing the new pedestrian building on the east side of the border crossing, which is foreseen to start operating this October, this will speed up pedestrian crossing from the United States into Mexico.
Juana Flores, from Los Angeles, who has waited for more than 3 hours to cross the border, told EFE that her visits to Tijuana have been reduced to twice a month due to the long wait times, and is grateful for the work being done to improve the wait times, although she did show a little skepticism. “Sometimes I can cross the border in 20 minutes when there is no traffic, but when it's rush hour it is torture. I'm not so sure whether the new lanes will make any difference during rush hour or not”..
Adriana Quintero from San Diego told EFE that Mondays her wait, which is every week because it's her day off, can sometimes be prolonged up to 5 hours when she cannot cross over in the early morning, but that the low prices in the United States make her endure the wait time so she can go shopping for clothes and food. “The new lanes will help those of us without Ready Lane documents or Sentri, who have always had a shorter wait time. I really hope this will help” Quintero stated.