U.S.-Canada border traffic remains in decline

From Herald Net:

Stricter travel document requirements in place since 2009 haven’t meant endless waits for motorists along one of the busiest stretches of the U.S.-Canada border, as many had feared, but Americans are avoiding short trips to Canada anyway, a study released Friday found.

They seem to think there’s no reason to go.

The study looked at how the passport rule and other changes at the border since the Sept. 11 terror attacks have affected the flow of business and tourists across the four bridges between the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area and Ontario. It was commissioned by a consortium led by The Binational Economic & Tourism Alliance.

The alliance had cautioned early on that the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, with its requirement that travelers show passports or an equivalent document beginning July 1, 2009, would keep travelers at home, unwilling to bother with expensive passports and traffic backups.

Already along the border, passenger vehicle crossings have been on the decline since 2002 because of things like the SARS virus scare, the economy and gasoline prices.

But the preliminary study results showed that even travelers who have the proper identification under WHTI aren’t making as many day trips, and the perception they’ll get stuck in long lines is only part of the problem.

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