A soon-to-be-released bi-national study calls for increased use of new technology to speed border crossings and inspections, along with improved trusted traveler programs at Buffalo-Niagara border crossings.
An estimated $70 billion in trade crossed the Niagara region bridges, including the Peace Bridge, in 2010, down from $80 billion in 2008.
An estimated $70 billion in trade crossed the Niagara region bridges, including the Peace Bridge, in 2010, down from $80 billion in 2008.


The study, by the Binational Economic and Tourism Alliance, also calls for better traffic conditions information and increased customs staffing during busy times, reports the Buffalo News.

Heightened security measures since Sept. 11 have led to more frequent backups and traffic congestion at the bridges, states the report.

The report cites statistics showing that thickening cross-border congestion costs Canadian trucking companies more than $9 billion. It recommends new technology to make inspections more efficient, such as hand-held scanners, pre-clearance programs and trusted traveler initiatives.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama have been negotiating a new "Smart Border" program that could include many of these initiatives.

"There is no magic bullet here, and we're all responsible for fixing it," said BETA's executive director Arlene White.

An estimated $70 billion in trade crossed the region's bridges in 2010, down from $80 billion in 2008.
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