CALEXICO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection opens a new Ready lane Monday at the Calexico East Port of Entry to provide travelers with a faster option to crossing the border.
The Ready lane is a lane for vehicle traffic and only accepts Radio Frequency Identification-enabled cards.
There’s no advance approval necessary to use the lane, but everyone in the vehicle crossing must have one of those documents.
The Ready lane will be located next to the SENTRI lane west of regular traffic lanes off the main boulevard that goes to the Calexico East Port of Entry.
As the car enters the lane, all passengers get out their RFID-enabled travel cards and then hold the cards up on the driver’s side of the car as the car is driven down the lane.
By the time the car stops at the officer’s booth, the officer has already received the results of the card scan.
“RFID-enabled cards allow our officers to screen travelers faster,” Customs and Border Patrol Director of Field Operations Chris Maston wrote in a press release. “By having a lane designated just for travelers with these cards, we can reduce the time everyone spends waiting to enter the country and encourages legitimate business and tourism for our communities on both sides of the border.”
The lane will be available 6 a.m. to midnight seven days a week.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection coordinated with Mexican officials to make sure the Ready lane will be clearly marked on the south side of the border.
The SENTRI lane will continue to be the fastest way to drive across the border, but the Ready lane will be faster than the regular vehicle lanes, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol spokeswoman Jackie Wasiluk said.
Those with SENTRI cards have already been classified as low-risk travelers while those using the Ready lane haven’t, she explained.
The Ready lane allows for several different types of identification cards to be used in one vehicle while everybody in vehicles in the SENTRI lane must have a SENTRI card.
The Ready lane was placed at the Calexico East port of entry as opposed to the Calexico Downtown Port of Entry, because its infrastructure better supports the lane’s installation, Wasiluk said.
Ready lanes have been opened in Otay Mesa, Blaine, Wash., Nogales, Ariz., and Progreso, Texas.
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or firstname.lastname@example.org
At a glance
Accepted Ready lane documents
U.S. Passport Card
New legal permanent resident “green card”
Border Crossing Card