US Customs and Border Protection have started testing radio frequency ready lanes on the border bridge in El Paso crossing. RFID technology has been implemented into United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued documents earlier in 2011. Now the ordinary people can take advantage of the new technology. The pilot program started in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico crossing. That particular border crossing is notorious for long waiting lines, reaching up to 3 hours.
Thanks to RDID the document can be read before approaching the immigration officer so that the data is on the officer’s computer screen by the person steps up. This saves 6 seconds which may sound irrelevant but when you consider 14,000 people crossing that post every day it adds up to significant amount of time very quickly. Right now a lot of people are not aware of the new improvement and wait in ordinary line even when eligible to use RFID lanes; in order to better mark the lanes high visibility LED signs have been installed. As of now it’s estimated that around 30% of people crossing the border over the bridge is using RFID enabled lanes.
Further study will determine if the Paso del Norte bridge solution would spread to other US border posts.