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CBP to install kiosks to speed pedestrians at San Ysidro port of entry in California

CBP officials are installing eight new kiosks to read border crossing documents for travelers arriving on foot at the San Ysidro port of entry, and will officially open a pedestrian “Ready Lane” at the border crossing in August.

The eight kiosks will allow travelers to proceed to one of the 15 pedestrian processing stations at San Ysidro. The kiosks are designed to help facilitate faster border crossings by allowing travelers to scan their own border crossing documents before even reaching the CBP officer assigned to their inspection. This will save time compared to having the CBP officer manually swipe each document as it is presented to them, says a CBP news release issued on July 19.

For even faster processing, CBP is leveraging existing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology with the new pedestrian Ready Lane, which will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Similar to the existing vehicle Ready Lanes at several local border crossings -- and the existing pedestrian Ready Lane at the Otay Mesa border crossing -- any traveler with an approved document that has RFID technology can use the new pedestrian Ready Lane.

Documents that may be used in the Ready Lane are the U.S. passport card, Trusted Traveler cards (SENTRI/ FAST/Global Entry) and the newer versions of the legal permanent resident and laser visa/border crossing cards issued after 2008. All travelers over 16 years of age must possess an RFID-enabled card to use the lane.

“At CBP, we are committed to continuing to find ways to make our border safer and more efficient,” said Pete Flores, director of field operations in San Diego. “We are working to leverage existing technology to shorten processing times for travelers crossing the border on foot.”

In addition to installing the new kiosks, construction at the pedestrian processing building will create clear and separate queues for the various types of pedestrian travelers that will now be processed at San Ysidro. Now, from left to right, as you enter the building, these three lines that will separate travelers will be general traffic; travelers in the Ready Lane; and SENTRI and other Trusted Travelers. Construction will also change the entry doors to the building to correspond to the designated corridors for different types of travelers, and will add stenciling and signage for corridor walkways, queuing, and lane identification.

The new kiosks represent the first of their kind being used by CBP, as these will be the first pedestrian kiosks that feed travelers to multiple different processing stations (rather than having one kiosk feed directly to one processing station, as currently exists at all other land border crossings.)

Videos with instructions on how to use the new kiosks are already playing on overhead monitors at the San Ysidro crossing to familiarize travelers. The video can be viewed here: (Instructional videos )

When a traveler approaches the kiosk they will scan their document, allowing it to be read electronically before they approach the inspection booth. This allows the CBP officer to receive the traveler’s information in advance, allowing for faster processing while enhancing overall security.

CBP officers need real-time access to a traveler’s information to make a rapid and thorough admissibility decision. By receiving the information in advance after the traveler scans their own document at the kiosk, the CBP officer can focus on the individual instead, improving officer safety and allowing for faster processing.

Already at San Ysidro, 30 percent of the port’s vehicle traffic uses a Ready Lane. At the nearby Otay Mesa border crossing, pedestrian Ready Lane travelers usually wait in line at least half as long as general pedestrian travelers.

Construction for the pedestrian kiosks and other new infrastructure at the San Ysidro northbound pedestrian crossing will begin July 21, but will be limited to overnight hours to limit the impact on travelers.

CBP continues to strongly encourage travelers to obtain RFID-enabled travel documents to expedite their entry to the U.S. and to help make the border crossing process more efficient. Travelers who have one of the RFID-enabled secure travel documents may use both the new pedestrian and the existing vehicle Ready Lanes.

Prior to the official opening of the pedestrian kiosks and the pedestrian Ready Lane at San Ysidro in August, CBP officials will be testing the system, and will invite media to view the new kiosks in use on a date to be announced.