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CBP Testing New Ways to Decrease Border Crossing Times

In an effort to decrease waiting times at our port of entries, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations (CBP) has recently enacted a pilot program at the International Bridge at the Sault Ste Marie port of entry. The hope of this program is to bring vehicles to the inspection booths in less time.

“Effficacy in movement is paramount to this project’s success. We are always trying to improve the flow of legitimate traffic while enforcing the laws of the United States,” said Patrick Wilson, CBP Sault Ste. Marie Assistant Director.

The Sault Ste. Marie port of entry has a unique design that separates commercial traffic from car traffic, creating an upper and lower plaza. The focus of this project will be on the upper plaza only and will not affect the flow of traffic on the lower plaza.

Stop signs will be placed in all three upper lanes. The stop signs will shorten the “pull up” distance to the booth. This allows vehicles to queue up quicker. The stop signs will be placed near Radio Frequency Identification readers where the traveling public can display their Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative RFID-enabled document to pre-populate the officer’s computer screens.

CBP is testing the theory that they can process more travelers each hour by reducing the amount of time it takes each vehicle to get to the inspecting officer.

The pilot project will incorporate a two-stop sign process. Upon entering the upper plaza, vehicles will be required to stop at the first existing stop sign. As the vehicle ahead clears, travelers will move to the next new stop sign and present their ID to the RFID reader. Once the vehicle at the inspection booth clears, travelers will proceed to the inspection booth. In addition to the new setup for crossing at the Sault Ste. Marie port of entry, CBP officers will direct traffic periodically during this project to help educate travelers on this new process.

The hope is that with the new procedure for crossing at this port of entry, the data will show enough time being saved here that other busier port of entries will implement similar processes to speed up crossing times into the U.S.

In an effort to decrease waiting times at our port of entries, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations (CBP) has recently enacted a pilot program at the International Bridge at the Sault Ste Marie port of entry. The hope of this program is to bring vehicles to the inspection booths in less time.

“Effficacy in movement is paramount to this project’s success. We are always trying to improve the flow of legitimate traffic while enforcing the laws of the United States,” said Patrick Wilson, CBP Sault Ste. Marie Assistant Director.

The Sault Ste. Marie port of entry has a unique design that separates commercial traffic from car traffic, creating an upper and lower plaza. The focus of this project will be on the upper plaza only and will not affect the flow of traffic on the lower plaza.

Stop signs will be placed in all three upper lanes. The stop signs will shorten the “pull up” distance to the booth. This allows vehicles to queue up quicker. The stop signs will be placed near Radio Frequency Identification readers where the traveling public can display their Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative RFID-enabled document to pre-populate the officer’s computer screens.

CBP is testing the theory that they can process more travelers each hour by reducing the amount of time it takes each vehicle to get to the inspecting officer.

The pilot project will incorporate a two-stop sign process. Upon entering the upper plaza, vehicles will be required to stop at the first existing stop sign. As the vehicle ahead clears, travelers will move to the next new stop sign and present their ID to the RFID reader. Once the vehicle at the inspection booth clears, travelers will proceed to the inspection booth. In addition to the new setup for crossing at the Sault Ste. Marie port of entry, CBP officers will direct traffic periodically during this project to help educate travelers on this new process.

The hope is that with the new procedure for crossing at this port of entry, the data will show enough time being saved here that other busier port of entries will implement similar processes to speed up crossing times into the U.S.