FORT ERIE, ONTARIO — New technology will be installed at the Peace and Queenston-Lewiston Bridges to help make border crossing faster, announced Attorney General Robert Nicholson today.
The new system is expected to reduce border wait times by one million hours a year for both commercial carriers and the public.
“Canada and the United States are taking action to promote the safe, secure and efficient movement of people and goods across the border,” Nicholson said. “This technology will make cross-border travel easier and facilitate trade by providing reliable, up-to-date information to help drivers plan and choose the fastest crossing.”
The new sensor technology will be installed near custom plazas and approach roads and will measure and report delays. As a result, drivers will be able to better plan their routes, time of crossing and to select the bridge with the best wait-times, saving them time and money on fuel by avoiding congestion.
“While driving to the border, we naturally wonder whether it will be faster to cross at Fort Erie or Queenston,” Nicholson said. “With this new technology, accurate, up-to-the-minute crossing times will be posted well before you reach the border.”
Federal Highway administrator Victor Mendez said freight movement is essential to commerce and a healthy economy. New technology, he said, will help businesses move their goods across the border more efficiently, and will therefore help the national economy grow and create jobs.
Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, David Aguilar said the project shows a lot of progress on behalf of the Beyond the Border Action Plan, which was announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barak Obama in December 2011.
“This latest example of US-Canadian collaboration demonstrates our nations’ partnership to ensure continued economic competitiveness,” Aguilar said.
Under the plan, Canada and the U.S. agreed to reduce, eliminate and prevent barriers to cross-border trade ant to install border wait time measurement technology at the top 20 crossings.
The border wait time technology will also:
– Help border agencies better manage traffic volume by providing reliable information for planning purposes.
– Ensure more efficient border operations by allowing border agencies to focus resources on security.
– Reduce environmental impacts by decreasing vehicle emissions from border congestion and delays.
“Border wait time measurement technology will improve accessibility across the border, increase efficiency at ports and enhance service levels,” said Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews. “By implementing border wait time technology at these ports of entry, travelers and commercial drivers will receive information to help them decide when and where to cross the border.”
The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) applauded the new technology, saying that the Canadian Government’s investment in border infrastructure will further assist the trucking industry in becoming more efficient in making its international deliveries.
“The opening of new bridges, like the one for Windsor-Detroit and additional truck lanes, are critical to the ability of Canadian manufacturers to ensure that their goods can get to their U.S. customers on time. The promise of future electronic highway signs that will provide real time delays at the two major Niagara crossings will provide certain carriers with real options to avoid costly delays at the Niagara,” said Stephen Laskowski, CTA’s senior vice president.