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New app to help improve cross-border travel

Ashley Hirtzel
U.S. Customs and Border Protection have unveiled the Border Wait Time app.

Crossing the border into the United States may have gotten a little more convenient. U.S. Customs and Border Protection unveiled the Border Wait Time app Wednesday. It will provide travelers with estimated wait times and open lane statuses at bridges.

The information will also include times for pedestrian, passenger, and commercial vehicle crossings. It’s broken down by lane type including standard, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST and Ready Lane. Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske says people will be able to locate the three ports of entry closest to their location and then map the best route.

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO
CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske.

“It’s a one-stop shop for cross border travel and makes it easier for travelers to plan their cross border travel,” said Kerlikowske.

Kerlikowske says he believes the new technology allows officers to process travelers safely and efficiently, as well as provide an economic boost.

“For every amount of time that we reduce cargo being held or being inspected, we actually make money for the economy and that’s critical,” said Kerlikowske.

The app is free and doesn’t require people to enter any personal information. It’s available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Ashley is a Buffalo native, and is in her second stint as reporter at WBFO. During her first tenure at the station, Ashley covered a variety of issues in the western New York region and earned an Associated Press award for team coverage on “Same Sex Marriage in New York.” Ashley has also worked as an anchor/reporter at WBEN in Buffalo and WBTA in Batavia.