The Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority (PBA), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and the Buffalo Sabres officially greeted the National Hockey League season by reminding game day travelers of a few important international border crossing tips, including expansion of the NEXUS program service lane hours at the Peace Bridge crossing.
The current hours of operation for NEXUS when entering the United States are: Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., and Saturday through Sunday, 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. When entering Canada, NEXUS is currently open Monday through Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Following all Buffalo Sabres home games (beginning October 14, 2011) NEXUS will remain open until 12:00 a.m. each evening to accommodate returning Canada-bound fans.
“For thousands of Buffalo Sabres fans traveling the Peace Bridge is literally a game day necessity,” said Authority Chairman Anthony Annunziata. “And with over 20 percent of the fan base residing in the Niagara region and other parts of Southern Ontario, it is critically important that we maximize the benefits of NEXUS at our crossing to ensure the border experience does not deter anyone from catching a game.”
“For those who cross the border often, NEXUS expedites your clearance," said Neil Mooney, Fort Erie District Director, CBSA. “The CBSA is committed to a safe, secure, and efficient border and is pleased to announce that beginning October 14, 2011, it will extend NEXUS lane hours for entry into Canada until approximately midnight following all Sabres home games.”
“We encourage our border traveling fans to enroll in the NEXUS program to make their trips to the First Niagara Center as comfortable as possible,” said Buffalo Sabres Vice President of Public and Community Relations Mike Gilbert. “NEXUS will not only help get you to the game faster, but with these extended hours for returning motorists, it will help get you home quicker too!”
Information on the NEXUS program is available at www.peacebridge.com/nexus and www.nexus.gc.ca or by calling 1-866-639-8726.
In addition to NEXUS program enrollment, the following tips have a noted track-record of making border crossing a more efficient and therefore enjoyable experience for game day travelers:
- Visit http://mobile.peacebridge.com on your web-enabled mobile device or call 1-800-715-6722 to obtain wait times for Buffalo/Niagara Region international crossings, including the Peace Bridge. These updates are revised hourly.
- Prior to arriving at the U.S. border have proper identification ready to present to Customs officers. Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), appropriate documents for entry into the U.S. include: Enhanced Driver’s licenses, Enhanced Non-Driver Identification, FAST Cards, NEXUS Cards, Permanent Resident Cards, Passports, and U.S. Passport Cards for travelers 16 years of age and older, and birth certificates, naturalization certificates, or Canadian citizenship cards which are acceptable forms of identification for most children 15 years of age and younger. For more information regarding documentary requirements when entering the United States visit www.peacebridge.com/id, or for identification requirements for entering Canada visit http://cbsa.gc.ca/security-securite/admiss-eng.html.
- If traveling with children less than 16 years of age who are not part of your immediate family, obtain and carry a parental note of permission regarding cross-border travel. The note should include each child’s parental contact information and telephone numbers.
- Other than essential luggage and tailgating necessities, empty your trunk before the trip. Additional belongings in your car may add time to your crossing, as Customs officers may perform a visual inspection of the belongings in your car.
- Turn off radios and cell phones when approaching Customs inspection booths and speaking with officers.
- Remember to roll down the window, remove sunglasses, and make eye contact with Customs officers.
- Be sure to declare all fruits, vegetables, plants and plant products, animals, birds, eggs, meat and meat products, as well as items acquired for personal use.
- Avoid horseplay and do not fool around. Customs and Immigration officers on both sides of the border are law enforcement officials who take their duties very seriously. Approach inspection booths slowly and follow signage instructions.
- Be patient. Customs officers are responsible for protecting our nations’ borders and public safety.
- Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority, a binational authority, has owned and operated the Peace Bridge since 1933. The bridge, which was opened to traffic in 1927, spans the Niagara River between Fort Erie, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York, and is a key international border crossing. The Authority is governed by a 10 member board with an equal number of representatives from Canada and the United States.