POSTED: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 - 1:17pm
UPDATED: Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 8:14am
It's like a VIP lane for those travelers with one of four special cards, cards that many travelers likely already have.
Those drivers who carry a passport, border crossing card, resident alien card or SENTRI card will now have a special "Ready Lane" designated just for them at the Gateway International Bridge.
The documents, when scanned by special radio frequency identification equipment, will read a special micro-chip on each card before each vehicle gets up to the actual crossing to meet with a Customs and Border agent.
"It takes off the key stroke process of typing their names and dates of birth and verifying their info," says CBP Port Director Michael Freeman.
The port director says cutting out this step will allow agents to get people through faster.
The process is expected to take off about 10 to 12 seconds per vehicle and allow agents more time, if need be, to give extra attention to border security.
"Now they'll focus on travelers and actually documents being presented versus the system checks," says Freeman.
With nearly two and half million people crossing over at the Gateway International Bridge yearly wait times can add up.
"At 6:30 to 8:30 in the morning we may be having a 30 to 40 minute wait and then in the afternoon when people are getting off work and coming into the U.S. to visit, eat shop, then we're going to have a 30, 40, 50 minute wait, on weekends we can reach up to an hour," says Freeman.
Officials say flashing any of the approved cards will allow travelers the convenience of moving back and forth across the border much quicker.