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Monday, Dec 4, 2023

Border Wait Goes Under Sandag’s Microscope

The San Diego Association of Governments, the region’s planning agency, recently completed a survey assessing the impacts of delays at San Diego’s three ports of entry on the economy of the San Diego-northern Baja California region.

The study will be used as part of the association’s project to develop an economic model to be used as an analysis tool.

The association, commonly known as Sandag, surveyed more than 3,600 northbound border crossers between November and February.

According to the study, nearly 95 percent of the border crossers were traveling into San Diego County, with two-thirds of the crossers traveling into the South Bay.

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The study also found that the majority of those who cross into San Diego do so to shop, work or visit family and friends.

Each day more than 355,000 individuals travel between the United States and Mexico via the San Ysidro, Otay Mesa, and Tecate ports of entry, with current wait times ranging from 15 minutes to nearly two hours, according to Sandag.

One of the most notable revelations from the study was border crossers’ willingness to pay $3 to cross the border, with nearly 60 percent of respondents agreeing to the fee.

Many within the region have opposed the concept of a fee.

“Even with two hour wait times at the border, people are willing to pay $3 at the border because of the higher paying wages,” said Marney Cox, chief economist for Sandag. “That shows the significant need for us to do something at the border.”

San Diego has a $140 billion economy, 10 percent of which is related to commerce from those crossing the border, Cox said.

Sandag released initial study results Tuesday.

Lisa Kovach


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