Measuring Border Delay and Crossing Times at the U.S. – Mexico Border
Automated Crossing and Wait Time Measurement
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Technical Report Documentation Page
|1. Report No.
|2. Government Accession No.||3. Recipient's Catalog No.|
|4. Title and Subtitle
Measuring Border Delay and Crossing Times at the US–Mexico Border - Final Report
|5. Report Date
|6. Performing Organization Code|
Rajat Rajbhandari, Juan Villa, William Tate, Swapnil Samant, Leonard Ruback, and Don Kang
|8. Performing Organization Report No.
|9. Performing Organization Name and Address
Texas Transportation Institute
Battelle Memorial Institute
|10. Work Unit No.|
|11. Contract or Grant No.
|12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration
|13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Final Report covering 12/14/2007 to 3/31/2012
|14. Sponsoring Agency Code
|15. Supplementary Notes|
A pilot test implemented a radio frequency identification (RFID) system to automatically measure travel times of US-bound commercial vehicles at a selected Port of Entry (POE) on the US-Mexico border under long-term, real-world conditions. The initiative began with a Part 1 technology trade-off study of potential detection technologies to measure travel times. A Part II initiative verified RFID as the most appropriate technology for the objectives and implemented a RFID-based reader system the selected POE: the Bridge of the Americas (BOTA) at El Paso, Texas/Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The initial implementation measured crossing time, which is the average travel time completely through the POE starting at the end of the queue in Mexico. The project later added RFID reader stations at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Primary Inspection booths at BOTA and at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge POE in eastern Texas that allowed measurement of wait time. Wait time is the average travel time from the end of the queue in Mexico to the border and is a segment of crossing time. This report documents the technology system’s stakeholder involvement, planning, design, installation, integration, test and evaluation, and real-world operation as well as lessons learned. The project also developed stand-alone documents to assist future implementers of similar automated RFID-based travel time measurement systems.
|17. Key Words
ITS Technology, Border Crossing, Port of Entry, Traveler Information, Border Wait Time, Border Crossing Time
|18. Distribution Statement|
|19. Security Classif.
(of this report)
|20. Security Classif.
(of this page)
|21. No. of Pages
Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized
- EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
- CHAPTER 1: BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW
- CHAPTER 2: BRIDGE OF THE AMERICAS
- CHAPTER 3: PHARR-REYNOSA INTERNATIONAL BRIDGE
- CHAPTER 4: TECHNOLOGY IDENTIFICATION, SELECTION, AND IMPLEMENTATION
- Objectives and Approach
- Part I – Technology Identification
- Part II - Technology Selection
- Part II - Implementation at BOTA Border Crossing
- Site Characterization and Identification of RFID Reader Locations
- System Requirements for a Border Crossing Time Measurement System
- System Engineering Methodology
- Equipment Purchase and Bench Testing
- Equipment Installation
- System Test and Evaluation
- Relocation of RFID Reader Station in Mexico
- Installation of RFID Readers at CBP
- Completed Installation of RFID Stations at BOTA
- Part II – Implementation at Pharr-Reynosa Border Crossing
- CHAPTER 5: DATA COLLECTION, PROCESSING, AND DISPLAY
- CHAPTER 6: BOTA CROSSING AND WAIT TIME DATA ANALYSIS
- Data Collection and Analysis Period
- Unmatched Tag Reads
- Matched Tag Reads
- CHAPTER 7: PHARR-REYNOSA WAIT TIME DATA ANALYSIS
- CHAPTER 8: EVALUATION OF CROSSING AND WAIT TIMES DATA
- CHAPTER 9: LONG TERM OPERATION
- CHAPTER 10: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
LIST OF TABLES
- Table 1. US-bound truck crossings in Texas ports of entry in 2011.
- Table 2. Summary of the advantages and disadvantages of potential technologies.
- Table 3. Potential risks of RFID and GPS based systems.
- Table 4. Result of tag read reliability test by lane performed for each lane at BOTA.
- Table 5. Single lane transponder readability test at Pharr-Reynosa border crossing.
- Table 6. Number of tags read over a five-hour period at different inspection lanes.
- Table 7. Descriptions of tables used to store wait and crossing time data and definitions of fields in the data archive.
- Table 8. Monthly performance of BOTA based on average crossing times of trucks.
- Table 9. Monthly performance of Pharr-Reynosa based on average crossing times of trucks.
- Table 10. Percentage of total US-bound trucks identified by RFID readers at BOTA.
- Table 11. Comparison of average crossing times measured in field and calculated by the RFID system.
- Table 12. Differences between GPS and RFID measured wait times of US-bound trucks at BOTA.
- Table 13. Differences between GPS and RFID measured crossing times of US-bound trucks at BOTA.
- Table 14. Differences between GPS and RFID measured wait times of US-bound trucks at Pharr-Reynosa.
- Table 15. Annual costs for operations and maintenance of BOTA system.
LIST OF FIGURES
- Figure 1. Chart. Different scenarios of border crossing times for US-bound commercial vehicles.
- Figure 2. Equation. Travel time index subscript indx.
- Figure 3. Chart. Annual trend of US-bound truck movements through El Paso ports of entry.
- Figure 4. Map. El Paso area with commercial vehicle crossings.
- Figure 5. Image. Location of Bridge of the Americas.
- Figure 6. Graph. Monthly US-bound truck volume through BOTA in 2011.
- Figure 7. Image. Bridge of the Americas port of entry in El Paso–Ciudad Juárez region.
- Figure 8. Map. Ports of entry allowing commercial vehicle crossings in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
- Figure 9. Graph. Distribution of truck volumes at different ports of entry in the Lower Rio Grande Valley region in 2011.
- Figure 10. Map. Pharr-Reynosa (red circle) and McAllen-Hidalgo-Reynosa border crossings (blue circle).
- Figure 11. Chart. Trend of US-bound truck volume through Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge.
- Figure 12. Graph. Monthly US-bound truck crossings at Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge in 2011.
- Figure 13. Photo. Aerial view of Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge looking south from US 281.
- Figure 14. Illustration. Demonstration of travel time data collection using RFID technology.
- Figure 15. Map. BOTA showing Federal and State inspection facilities and initial RFID reader locations.
- Figure 16. Map. Final location of first RFID reader station in Mexico.
- Figure 17. Map. Location of RFID reader station at the exit of the State inspection facility on the US side of the border.
- Figure 18. Illustration. Organization of various subsystems.
- Figure 19. Illustration. Hardware configuration required for a RFID reader station.
- Figure 20. Photo. Back panel with communication hardware installed inside a cabinet as part of the RFID reader station.
- Figure 21. Photo. Contractors installing RFID antennae on a mast arm.
- Figure 22. Photo. RFID antennae at the convergence of Boulevard Cuatro Siglos and MX45.
- Figure 23. Photo. Contractors installing cabinets on a pole in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.
- Figure 24. Photo. Solar panel installed at Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.
- Figure 25. Photo. Pole-mounted batteries installed at Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.
- Figure 26. Photo. Truck leaving the State inspection facility on the US side of the border and passing under the RFID reader station.
- Figure 27. Photo. Power cabinet and in-ground battery installed at El Paso, US.
- Figure 28. Photo. Original RFID reader station and new signage for relocation of original RFID equipment on the MX side of the BOTA.
- Figure 29. Photo. Relocated RFID equipment on the new signage.
- Figure 30. Chart. Improvement of transponder reads and sample size after relocation of RFID equipment to the new signage.
- Figure 31. Photo. RFID equipment being installed at CBP primary booth at BOTA.
- Figure 32. Photo. Completed installation of RFID equipment at CBP primary booth at BOTA.
- Figure 33. Photo. Present Location of Three RFID reader stations at BOTA.
- Figure 34. Map. Pharr and Reynosa showing RFID reader locations.
- Figure 35. Photo. Contractors installing RFID equipment at CBP’s primary inspection facility at Pharr-Reynosa border crossing.
- Figure 36. Photo. Installed RFID equipment at CBP’s primary inspection facility at Pharr-Reynosa border crossing.
- Figure 37. Illustration. Data collection, communication, and archiving process.
- Figure 38. Image showing snapshot of the prototype Web tool page to view real-time information.
- Figure 39. Image of RSS feed of wait and crossing time at Bridge of the Americas.
- Figure 40. Image of RSS feed of wait and crossing time at Pharr-Reynosa border crossing.
- Figure 41. Image. Representative archived information web page
- Figure 42. Chart. Daily transponder reads by first (R1) and last stations (R3) at BOTA in 2009.
- Figure 43. Chart. Daily transponder reads by first (R1) and last stations (R3) at BOTA in 2010.
- Figure 44. Chart. Daily transponder reads by all three stations at BOTA in 2011.
- Figure 45. Chart. Daily transponder reads by all three stations at BOTA in 2012.
- Figure 46. Chart. Monthly performance of BOTA based on average crossing times of trucks.
- Figure 47. Chart. Histogram of raw truck crossing times for a month February 2012 at BOTA.
- Figure 48. Chart. Histogram of raw truck crossing times on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at BOTA.
- Figure 49. Charts. Hourly and daily variation of average crossing times of trucks during the week of February 13, 2012 at BOTA.
- Figure 50. Chart. Histogram of raw wait times for a month February 2012 at BOTA.
- Figure 51. Chart. Histogram of raw truck wait times on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at BOTA.
- Figure 52. Charts. Hourly and daily variation of average wait times of trucks on the Week of February 13, 2012 at BOTA.
- Figure 53. Chart. Daily transponder reads by reader at CBP at Pharr-Reynosa in 2011.
- Figure 54. Chart. Daily transponder reads by reader at CBP at Pharr-Reynosa in 2012.
- Figure 55. Chart. Monthly performance of Pharr-Reynosa based on average crossing times of trucks.
- Figure 56. Chart. Histogram of raw truck wait Times for a month of February, 2012 in Pharr-Reynosa.
- Figure 57. Chart. Histogram of raw truck wait times for a weekday at Pharr-Reynosa.
- Figure 58. Charts. Hourly and daily variation of average wait times of trucks during the week of February 13, 2012 at Pharr-Reynosa.
- Figure 59. Chart. Comparison of total number of tags read hourly by RFID readers on the US and Mexican side of the border.
- Figure 60. Image. Overlaid truck GPS points, and virtual zones surrounding RFID stations.
LIST OF ACRONYMS
|ACE||Automated Cargo Environment|
|ALPR||Automatic License Plate Recognition|
|AMAC||Asociación de Maquiladoras de Ciudad Juárez|
|ATA||American Trucking Association|
|AVI||Automatic Vehicle Identification|
|AVL||Automatic Vehicle Location|
|BOTA||Bridge of the Americas|
|BSIF||Border Safety Inspection Facility|
|BTS||Bureau of Transportation Statistics|
|CAPUFE||Caminos y Puentes Federales de Ingresos y Servicios Conexos|
|CBP||Customs and Border Protection|
|DMS||Dynamic Message Sign|
|DPS||Department of Public Safety|
|FAST||Free and Secure Trade|
|FHWA||Federal Highway Administration|
|FMCSA||Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration|
|GIS||Geographic Information System|
|GPS||Global Positioning System|
|GSA||General Services Administration|
|HAR||Highway Advisory Radio|
|IAVE||Identificación Automatica Vehicular|
|IMIP||Instituto Municipal de Investigación y Planeación|
|INDABIN||Instituto de Administración y Avalúos de Bienes Nacionales|
|ITS||Intelligent Transportation System|
|MPO||Metropolitan Planning Organization|
|NAFTA||North American Free Trade Agreement|
|NMDOT||New Mexico Department of Transportation|
|POE||Port of Entry|
|RFID||Radio Frequency Identification|
|RGV||Rio Grande Valley|
|RSS||Real Simple Syndicate|
|SCT||Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes|
|SRE||Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores|
|TAMU||Texas A&M University|
|TTI||Texas Transportation Institute|
|TxDOT||Texas Department of Transportation|
|UDP||User Datagram Protocol|
|URL||Universal Record Locater|
|VPN||Virtual Private Network|
|XML||Extensible Markup Language|