SAN DIEGO — A newly built pedestrian-processing facility opened Wednesday afternoon on the east side of the San Ysidro Port of Entry, one of the busiest land border crossings in the world.
The U.S. General Services Administration and Customs and Border Protection hosted a morning ribbon-cutting ceremony for the facility to be known as PedEast, which has 22 pedestrian lanes for CBP officials to process travelers. More than 70,000 northbound vehicle passengers and 20,000 pedestrians cross the border daily.
Speakers from the U.S. and Mexican governments, as well as local civic leaders from both sides of the San Diego-Tijuana border region, were on hand.
“San Ysidro is the largest, most complex port of entry in the Western Hemisphere,” said CBP’s San Diego Director of Field Operations Pete Flores. “One out of every five travelers who enters the U.S., whether by land, air or sea, does so through a port of entry within the San Diego Field Office jurisdiction, and the majority enters through San Ysidro. The opening of this pedestrian-processing facility is a reflection of the hard work, collaboration and efficiency of GSA and the CBP.”
The PedEast building is part of the second phase of a modernization project scheduled to be completed in fall 2019, which includes renovation of the Customs House, a pedestrian plaza, and expansion of northbound and southbound vehicle-inspection facilities.
People crossing are reporting very short wait times and a state of the facility.
“I’m really surprised with the lack of wait times. I was really expecting longer waits but really surprised at the lack of a wait,” said Victor Ramos.
Processing of pedestrians and bus passengers, including Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI), Ready Lane and general traffic, was scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. at the 100,000-square-foot PedEast. The facility, which will be open 24 hours a day for northbound travelers into the U.S., is located near public transit, including the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System trolley line.
CBP will also continue its processing operations at the 22,000-square- foot sister facility on the west side of the port, PedWest, bringing the total number of inspection booths at the Port of Entry to 36.