Niagara Gazette

Editorials

March 7, 2012

EDITORIAL: Bridge agencies push NEXUS enrollment

Securing the U.S.-Canada border has been a major concern, even more so since the devastating terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

On that infamous day when nearly 3,000 people died — as the hijacked airliners crashed into the World Trade Center in Manhattan, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a farm field in Pennsylvania. — this nation faced the harsh reality that our best intelligence agencies had underestimated how vulnerable we were.

It was imperative that the U.S. government take strong measures to provide increased security at our borders in the Buffalo-Niagara area.

It also was important to achieve a balance, to firmly protect citizens of both countries while maintaining the flow of commerce and tourism between two of the biggest trading partners in the free world.

Today, such measures as NEXUS and the enhanced driver’s license program have already proven effective for the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority, which operates the Peace Bridge, and the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission have formed a regional marketing campaign to educate Western New York and Ontario residents on the ease of border travel through enrolling in the NEXUS program and properly using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.

It’s worth noting that this region has more combined NEXUS and enhanced driver’s license (EDL) registrations than any other location along the Canadian-American border.

But more needs to be done, says Peace Bridge General Manager Ron Rienas. “By educating additional residents on the benefits of these programs, we can ensure even faster border travel for motorists, and also reduce congestion on area bridge crossings.”

Lew Holloway, general manager of the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, cites the need to encourage more enrollment in the NEXUS program for those who frequently travel between Canada and the U.S.

Holloway also is convinced that putting more EDLs in the hands of even occasional bridge users will expedite the standard processing through customs at the bridges.

The NEXUS program, fully implemented more than a decade ago, now includes more than 650,000 trusted traveler enrollees throughout North America.

It is a binational program jointly administered by Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for low-risk, pre-approved travelers into Canada and the U.S.

Meanwhile, the EDLs are optional travel documents that double as a driver’s license and they’re currently accepted as passport for all land and sea travel between the U.S., Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

If your business or personal travel means trips across the border, a NEXUS could undoubtedly save you valuable time.

On that infamous day when nearly 3,000 people died — as the hijacked airliners crashed into the World Trade Center in Manhattan, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a farm field in Pennsylvania. — this nation faced the harsh reality that our best intelligence agencies had underestimated how vulnerable we were.

It was imperative that the U.S. government take strong measures to provide increased security at our borders in the Buffalo-Niagara area.

It also was important to achieve a balance, to firmly protect citizens of both countries while maintaining the flow of commerce and tourism between two of the biggest trading partners in the free world.

Today, such measures as NEXUS and the enhanced driver’s license program have already proven effective for the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority, which operates the Peace Bridge, and the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission have formed a regional marketing campaign to educate Western New York and Ontario residents on the ease of border travel through enrolling in the NEXUS program and properly using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.

It’s worth noting that this region has more combined NEXUS and enhanced driver’s license (EDL) registrations than any other location along the Canadian-American border.

But more needs to be done, says Peace Bridge General Manager Ron Rienas. “By educating additional residents on the benefits of these programs, we can ensure even faster border travel for motorists, and also reduce congestion on area bridge crossings.”

Lew Holloway, general manager of the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, cites the need to encourage more enrollment in the NEXUS program for those who frequently travel between Canada and the U.S.

Holloway also is convinced that putting more EDLs in the hands of even occasional bridge users will expedite the standard processing through customs at the bridges.

The NEXUS program, fully implemented more than a decade ago, now includes more than 650,000 trusted traveler enrollees throughout North America.

It is a binational program jointly administered by Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for low-risk, pre-approved travelers into Canada and the U.S.

Meanwhile, the EDLs are optional travel documents that double as a driver’s license and they’re currently accepted as passport for all land and sea travel between the U.S., Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

If your business or personal travel means trips across the border, a NEXUS could undoubtedly save you valuable time.

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