Canadian government funds transportation technologies to improve major border crossing

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The Government of Canada is investing C$2.4m (US$1.8m) in transportation technologies for three projects to improve border infrastructure that will help the country’s businesses compete by moving goods to market more efficiently.

The government says the quality of Canada’s transportation infrastructure and the efficiency of the country’s trade corridors are key to the success of its companies in the global marketplace. Announcing the new funding, Karina Gould, Minister of Democratic Institutions, on behalf of Marc Garneau, Canada’s Minister of Transport, explained that the investment would support three infrastructure projects that create quality middle-class jobs and boost economic growth. The three projects will be implemented at the Peace Bridge Border Crossing, which connects Fort Erie in Ontario (Canada) with Buffalo in New York State (USA).

Over the past five years, an average of 3,274 trucks per day, or nearly 1.2 million per year, crossed the Peace Bridge, carrying millions of dollars’ worth of Canadian trade that support jobs across the country. The three projects cover:

• The complete redesign and replacement of existing toll system software, hardware, and signage for six toll collection lanes, as well as a border data analytics system for traffic entering Canada to improve toll system efficiency;

• The design, supply and installation of radio-frequency identification (RFID) readers and corresponding electrical and IT infrastructure at auto primary inspection lanes and commercial lanes. The RFID readers will be installed at the front of the inspection line, allowing travelers to scan their identification documents in advance of reaching the inspection booth for processing. This new technology helps reduce vehicle inspection wait times;

• The design, supply and installation of CCTV cameras and IT infrastructure to improve the accuracy of border wait time information and improve the flow of border traffic.

Once completed, the ITS projects will address capacity constraints that will benefit Canada’s third-busiest land crossing. The Canadian government expects that the projects being funded will:

• Support economic activity and the physical movement of goods or people in Canada;

• Help the transportation system withstand the effects of climate change and make sure it is able to support new technologies and innovation;

• Address transportation bottlenecks and congestion along Canada’s trade corridors;

• Increase the fluidity of Canadian trade around the world through its ports, airports, roads, railways, intermodal facilities, bridges and border crossings.

“The transportation and distribution of goods are a vital part of our local, regional and national economies,” explained Gould. “By investing in our transportation infrastructure to address urgent capacity constraints at the Peace Bridge, the Government of Canada is strengthening our economy, making our transportation system stronger, and fostering long-term prosperity for our communities.”

Garneau added, “I am pleased that these important projects are going ahead. The Peace Bridge is a strategic economic gateway, and ensuring that we address transportation bottlenecks and develop strategies to minimize congestion is vital to foster long-term prosperity in our community.” 

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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