BUFFALO, NY – After ordering a coffee or some pizza on their smartphones, truck drivers may soon be able to use an app on their phone to pay the US$13.05 Customs and Border Protection user fee for entering into the U.S. at the Peace Bridge.
The tech move is designed to cut congestion at the popular border crossing, where truck operators who do not have an annual user fee decal have to fork over cold hard cash. That process, according to the US Department of Homeland Security, is taking a bit too long.
According to Homeland Security’s latest budget documents, the current manual collection process “results in increased wait times and fuel costs for carriers and loss of work hours for CBP.” An automated system could cut processing times by as much as 6.5 per cent, the department estimates.
The budget document claims, for example, that at the Port of Buffalo in 2015, approximately 1,700 work hours were spent performing cash collections, with each commercial truck inspection taking an average of 80 – 90 seconds per vehicle. User fee collections for 2015 in the Port of Buffalo was approximately $774,000, the document states. This equates to approximately 72,000 collections (7.6 per cent of commercial trucks).
OTTAWA — Transport Canada is looking for motor carriers to participate in a project to measure queuing times at ports, wait times at border crossings and travel times between major cities and along major trade corridors.