A simulation study of a transponder based system to improve border crossing processes for cars and trucks at the Peace Bridge between the U.S. and Canada found that, with 50 percent of the vehicles equipped with the technology, the average inspection time for cars and trucks would decrease by 14 to 66 percent.

April 1999
Peace Bridge,Buffalo,New York,United States; Peace Bridge,Fort Erie,Ontario,Canada

Summary Information

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Mexico, and Canada was commited to improve the movement of people, goods, and servers accross international borders. A subsequent agreement in February 1995 between Canada and the U.S. was aimed at reducing delays at border crossings between the two nations. A pilot study referred to as the Intelligent Transportation Border Crossing System (ITBCS) was conducted at the Peace Bridge. The Peace Bridge is a major crossing facility between Buffalo, New York (U.S.A.) and Fort Erie, Ontario (Canada). The ITBCS is a transponder based system that identifies common carriers, autos, etc. that cross the bridge. It is intended to speed up the processing of both customs and immigration.

This report summaries simulation results that focused on the operations at the Peace Bridge border crossing. It evaluates the impacts that might be seen if the technology was deployed permanently and on a pervasive basis. The simulations focused on how vehicles (trucks and autos) are or would be process through the crossing facilities.

On the U.S. side scenarios were developed for transponder usage between 0 percent and 50 percent of vehicles equipped. Comparing 0 percent to 50 percent of transponder usage, both trucks and autos received significant time savings. Truck saved an average 66 percent overall in inspection times. Most of this savings is from a 64 percent reduction in the number of trucks sent to secondary inspection. Time is reduced 34 percent for those trucks sent to secondary inspection. Average time for autos in the system drops 35 percent.

A set of similar scenarios was also developed for the Canadian side. Time for trucks in the system was reduced 40 percent. Primary inspection times for trucks were reduced 14 percent. For autos, it was shown that at 35 percent participation one lane can be dedicated to ITBCS to handle the demand effectively. However, at 50 percent participation is two lanes are not dedicated to ITBCS large delays occur.


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Evaluation of Advanced Information Technology at the Peace Bridge

Author: Nozick, L., et al. (Cornell University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

Published By: Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority

Prepared by Cornell University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority

Source Date: April 1999

EDL Number: 10463


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Benefit ID: 2000-00119