Otay Mesa, Calif. - The newly opened Ready Lane at the Otay Mesa port of entry has shown reduced wait times for users and steady usage since it opened.
During the first two weeks the lane was open, wait times for the Ready Lane remained shorter than wait times for general vehicle traffic. On average, travelers who used the Ready Lane cut their wait time by at least 20 minutes, compared to other travelers using the general traffic lanes at Otay Mesa.
For example, on Saturday, May 7, the average wait time for travelers in the Ready Lane was about 22 minutes less than in the regular lanes, and on Sunday, May 8, travelers in the Ready Lane waited about 46 minutes less. These times were during the Ready Lane hours of operation, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., on both days.
Wait times in the Ready Lane Monday, May 9 through Thursday, May 12 were 21 minutes less, on average, than the regular lanes during the time the Ready Lane was open, from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The data also shows that by requiring that travelers in the Ready Lane use RFID-enabled documents, CBP officers were able, on average, to process each vehicle approximately 15-20 seconds faster than vehicles in the regular lanes.
"We have also received strong anecdotal evidence, through the queries we receive from the public, social media monitoring, etc., that the availability of this new, faster lane, is encouraging more people to get an RFID-enabled document," said Chris Maston, director of field operations in San Diego. "We implemented the Ready Lane at Otay Mesa to account for increased usage in the future, without compromising our ability to keep wait times lower for travelers in the Ready Lane."
According to the initial data, approximately 25 percent of the vehicles that would have used the port of entry's general traffic lanes, instead used the designated Ready Lanes.
On Tuesday May 3, 2011, U.S. Customs and Border Protection opened the new Ready Lane at the Otay Mesa port of entry for vehicle traffic with travelers who have travel documents enabled with Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, technology.
RFID-enabled documents include: the U.S. Passport Card, SENTRI card, the new Legal Permanent Resident "green card" and the new Border Crossing Card. In order to use this dedicated lane, all adult passengers in the vehicle over the age of 16 must present an RFID-enabled document.
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.