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For Immediate Release


Nov. 6, 2008

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure




SURREY – The launch of a new program at the Peace Arch border crossing will help reduce emissions and improve air quality, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Kevin Falcon and Environment Minister Barry Penner announced today.


“Turning off your engines while you wait is one of those common sense things that we can all do to reduce emissions and save on gas,” said Falcon. “This new pilot program will let motorists help improve the border’s air quality without increasing their wait times.”


The pilot program involves installing a traffic signal 63 metres north of the U.S. Customs booth.  During periods of heavy traffic, the signal will turn red, allowing motorists behind the signal to turn off idling engines. Once motorists ahead of the signal start to clear U.S. Customs, the signal will turn green and release another group of motorists. The total time to reach the customs booth will not change. 


Under this program, an estimated 639,000 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions per year will be eliminated. Removing the emissions will be achieved by reducing average vehicle idling time at the border by 20 minutes.


“Vehicle emissions are a significant source of both harmful air pollutants and greenhouse gases,” said Penner. “By minimizing idling, we’re doing our part to improve air quality and curb the damaging effects of climate change, while helping individuals to save money by reducing their fuel consumption.”


This pilot is part of a larger Greening the Border program agreed upon by Falcon and Washington’s Secretary of Transportation, Paula Hammond on June 20. In addition to the traffic signal, Greening the Border will improve information for travelers on border wait times and line-up conditions through promotion of the Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS) and NEXUS lane. Both allow motorists to make informed decisions about when to travel and which border to use. 


For more information on border conditions, motorists can visit:


More information on the Nexus program is available at:





Jeff Knight

Public Affairs Bureau

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

250 356-7707


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