BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials will open a pedestrian Ready Lane at the Gateway International Bridge on March 7, 2013. Similar to the existing vehicle Ready Lanes, any traveler with an approved document that has Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology can use the lane for a faster border crossing.
The pedestrian Ready Lane will operate from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Documents that may be used in the Ready Lane are: the U.S. passport card, Trusted Traveler cards (SENTRI/ FAST/Global Entry) and the newer versions of the legal permanent resident and laser visa/border crossing cards issued after 2008. All travelers over 16 years of age must possess an RFID-enabled card to use the lane.
“The goal of the pedestrian kiosk is to provide a secure and welcoming environment for officers and the traveling public while leveraging technology and processes to achieve operational efficiency,” said Michael Freeman, CBP port director, Brownsville Port of Entry. “By allowing travelers to scan their own RFID-enabled WHTI-compliant document, we will be able to streamline pedestrian processing while maintaining our dual mission of border security and travel facilitation.”
CBP is installing three new kiosks at the Gateway International Bridge border crossing for the pedestrian Ready Lane. Travelers eligible to use the pedestrian Ready Lane will approach the facility from the left, in a separate line from general travelers with non-Ready Lane documents.
When a traveler approaches the kiosk they will scan their document, allowing it to be read electronically before they approach the inspection booth. This allows the CBP officer to receive the traveler’s information in advance, allowing for faster processing while enhancing overall security.
CBP officers need real-time access to a traveler’s information to make a rapid and thorough admissibility decision. By receiving the information in advance after the traveler scans their own document at the kiosk, the CBP officer can focus on the individual instead, improving officer safety and allowing for faster processing.
Vehicle Ready Lanes have proven effective at improving throughput by 20-25 percent which translates into shorter overall crossing times, benefiting travelers.
Construction for the pedestrian Ready Lane kiosks at Gateway International Bridge will begin March 4, but will be limited to overnight hours only to limit the impact on travelers.
CBP continues to strongly encourage travelers to obtain RFID-enabled travel documents to expedite their entry to the U.S. and to help make the border crossing process more efficient. Travelers who have one of the RFID-enabled secure travel documents may use both the new pedestrian and the existing vehicle Ready Lanes.
Prior to the opening of the pedestrian Ready Lane at Gateway International Bridge on March 7, CBP officials will be testing the system, and will invite media to view and use the new kiosks on a date to be announced.