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Improving Mobility at the U.S./Canada Border through Border Wait Time Data-Sharing: the Buffalo-Niagara Falls Region
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    On an annual basis, over 1.1 million trucks and more than 5 million vehicles cross the Peace Bridge that spans the Niagara River and connects Western New York State and Southern Ontario, Canada.1 Twenty- five miles north on the Niagara River, about 800,000 trucks and 2.6 million vehicles annually cross the Lewiston- Queenston Bridge.2 Trucks crossing the U.S./Canada border play critical international trade and economic development support roles. However, heavy truck and car volumes at the U.S./ Canada bridge crossings can create high congestion levels with significant impacts. In 2012, the region’s first border wait time technologies were deployed on the Peace Bridge and Lewiston- Queenston Bridges, with funding support from Transport Canada and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Additional stakeholders who supported these deployments (through funds or other coordination) included the Buffalo and Fort Erie Bridge Public Authority, or Peace Bridge Authority (PBA), which manages the Peace Bridge; the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission (NFBC), which manages the Lewiston- Queenston Bridge, Rainbow Bridge, and Whirlpool Bridge; U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Travelers (including commercial vehicle operators) crossing the U.S./Canada border have an ongoing need for realtime border wait time information to improve trip planning and mobility. The information can also aid the public and private sector in more informed transportation planning, performance management, and decision-making. The Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition (NITTEC) serves as the region’s traffic operations center that compiles, analyzes, and distributes real-time travel data to the public and other stakeholders. As part of its regional traffic mobility improvement mission, NITTEC provides a publicly-accessible online travel information clearinghouse that includes border wait time.
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