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A simple phone call to Customs making crossing easier

January 03, 2002|STAFF REPORT

CALEXICO — Commuters, tourists and businesspeople may now ascertain the current traffic wait time at both Calexico area border crossings with a simple phone call, U.S. Customs Service officials have announced.

Starting this week, a pre-recorded phone service is available 24 hours every day to inform in English and Spanish the current traffic wait and the number of traffic lanes open at the downtown Calexico and Calexico East border inspection facilities, according to Bonnie Lemert, the U.S. Customs port director in Calexico.

"We want to encourage travelers to use this free resource to help them plan their trips to the U.S. from Mexico," Lemert said.

"Often motorists can save valuable time if they know which border facility offers a shorter northbound wait. This is important information for both occasional and frequent border-crossers."

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Information concerning the commercial cargo facility at the east border station is not included in the service, she said.

Information provided on the phone service is updated every hour or whenever traffic conditions change, such as with the opening or closing of traffic lanes, Lemert said.

Motorists can obtain current wait time and lane information by dialing 768-2383.

The Calexico ports together process almost 20,000 vehicles entering the U.S. daily and are considered among the busiest land border crossings on the Southwest border, Lemert said.

During the last federal fiscal year, Customs and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service processed more than 9 million vehicles and more than 35 million people entering the U.S. at the border stations in Calexico, she said.

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