HIDALGO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Hidalgo International Bridge will implement a change to the Ready Lane and to travelers arriving on bicycles effective on August 26.
These changes which will coincide with the beginning of the school year will involve having the designated Ready Lane move from the west side of the international bridge to the east side. Travelers who normally utilize the Ready Lane will now access this expedited vehicular lane on the east (right) side of the bridge and it will be located next to the SENTRI lane, which is currently the last lane on this side of the international bridge. All travelers with RFID enabled documents are encouraged to utilize this lane.
The Ready Lanes, which were inaugurated back in December, 2011 at the Hidalgo and Pharr International Bridges, were established to facilitate vehicle traffic with the concept of only accepting travelers with radio frequency identification (RFID)-enabled cards. The new designated Ready Lanes at these border crossings operate all week from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. In order to use the Ready Lane, all adult passengers in the vehicle over the age of 16 must present an approved RFID-enabled travel card. These documents include: the U.S. passport card, SENTRI card, the new Legal Permanent Resident (green) card and the new border crossing card (BCC).
Another change that will take effect is the processing of persons arriving on bicycles. All travelers arriving on bicycles during the hours from 6am to 10am will utilize the bus lane, which is the first (from left to right), vehicular lane on the west (left) side of the international bridge. After 10am, all persons arriving on bicycles will have to utilize the pedestrian lanes, which will entail walking alongside their bicycles. This change is to alleviate or prevent accidents as currently bicycle-riders maneuver in between automobiles waiting in line.
"RFID-enabled documents allow our officers to screen travelers faster," said Efrain Solis Jr., port director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. "By having a lane designated just for travelers with these cards, we can reduce the time everyone spends waiting to enter the country, and encourage legitimate business and tourism for our communities on both sides of the border."
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.