B.C. truckers can plan for life in the FAST lane

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SURREY, B.C. — Work has begun to extend the Highway 15 FAST (Free and Secure Trade Program) truck lane to improve the flow of goods at the Pacific Highway Border Crossing in Surrey, B.C.

The Pacific Highway crossing is the primary commercial vehicle crossing for the Lower Mainland and the fourth busiest commercial vehicle crossing along the entire Canada/US border. It handles 75% of commercial vehicle traffic in the Lower Mainland with more than 1.1 million southbound commercial vehicles crossing in 2002.

“The Pacific Border Crossing is vital to the economy of our province and our nation,” said Kevin Falcon, B.C.’s Transportation Minister. “That’s why we are moving ahead with this project to ease congestion, reduce border line-ups and save time and operating costs for FAST commercial vehicles that are moving products to market.”

FAST was implemented at border crossings to ease congestion and enhance security by pre-clearing certain classes of freight prior to arrival at the border.

FAST lane users currently share the curb lane with other heavy vehicles like buses and non-FAST commercial vehicles. When long truck queues form in the curb lane, vehicles are unable to access the existing FAST lane.

“The trucking industry and the surrounding community will both benefit from this extension,” said Lawrence Cannon, federal Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. “There will be reduced delays and queues for trucks, and air pollution and noise levels will be reduced; everyone wins.”

The FAST lane extension is scheduled for completion in November. The $3.1 million project is a cost-sharing venture of Transport Canada and the Province of British Columbia under the Canada/British Columbia Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program.

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