American visits to Canada have been on the decline ever since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. According to the most recent statistics from the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority (PBA), the bi-national organization that manages the Peace Bridge, over the first quarter of the year only 20% of the vehicles crossing the span connecting Buffalo, N.Y., and Fort Erie, Ont., were bearing American licence plates. While American traffic on the bridge does climb over the summer months, it is still below the levels that were realized before Sept. 11, 2001.
A little planning is all it takes for our American friends to be able to enjoy all that we have to offer here in the Niagara region, whether coming across the River on business or pleasure. The United States and Canada still share the world’s longest undefended border, and crossing that shouldn’t be perceived as a deterrent to visiting Canada. It is important that travelers be prepared when crossing the border, like ensuring they have the proper documentation, a passport or equivalent (enhanced driver’s licence, Nexus card).
Visitors can also check on the wait times at the border before they leave. Numerous online tools exist to help travelers better plan their excursion, including updated traffic wait times for smartphone users, bridge webcams, digital display signage operated by NITTEC on various high-volume connecting highways (with traffic updates) and 1-800-715-6722 (toll-free traffic conditions service). Motorists can also log onto The Peace Bridge website to access directions from their current destination to Niagara Falls, Ont., utilizing the Peace Bridge.
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