Opening another Pacific border lane to all trucks? Not so FAST

SURREY, B.C. — The B.C. Trucking Association is asking U.S. Customs and Border Protection to rethink a plan to open the FAST lane to all commercial traffic at the Pacific Border Crossing.

To thin out congestion at the busy crossing, CBP is set to launch pilot tests this week to let all southbound trucks use the FAST lane.

While BCTA is aware of the infrastructure constraints, it argues that the pilot project negates all the benefits of FAST and penalizes carriers and shippers that have already invested resources to meet the stringent requirements.

As an alternative, BCTA recommends that at least one of the FAST lane criteria are met — either the carrier, driver or shipper be C-TPAT approved. As well, the primary FAST booth should be opened only when non-FAST lanes reach a certain congestion point (when vehicles are backed up to 8th Ave., for example) and there are no approaching FAST vehicles at the time.

"This approach would allow a larger number of vehicles to access the FAST lane and mitigate the wait times for non-FAST vehicles without completely nullifying FAST privileges for program participants," BCTA stated in a memo to members.

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