With border wait times down, Baja businesses growing, tourism bustling, and the recent collaboration agreement signed by San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Tijuana Mayor Jorge Astiazarán, the ties between San Diego and Tijuana keep getting stronger.
As I listened to Mayors Faulconer and Astiazarán speak about business opportunities and infrastructure plans at Tijuana Innovadora last month, I couldn’t help but get excited about the great things the two cities have done and will do together.
As the synergies between both sides of the border continue to grow, so are the opportunities, but in order for these opportunities to come to fruition, it’s crucial for San Diegans and Tijuanenses to be aware of what’s going on. Here are some of the important happenings:
- Border wait times are dropping. The expansion of vehicle inspection booths at the San Ysidro Port of Entry has been a huge success thus far. Since the expansion, overall wait times at the border have dropped 60 to 75 percent when compared with the same period last year. However, according to U-T San Diego, one of the most pressing challenges involves improving conditions for the pedestrians, who can wait as long as two hours during peak crossing periods. Thankfully, there are plans to build an additional pedestrian crossing on the west side of the port, dubbed Ped West, which is scheduled for completion in early 2016. What does this mean for the region? With waits down, we’re “… going to have tremendous growth in good quality jobs, opportunities and innovation,” says Mayor Faulconer.
- The “Cross Border Xpress” pedestrian bridge broke ground. For all the world travelers out there, this is for you. A cross-border pedestrian bridge linking San Diego with Tijuana’s A.L. Rodríguez International airport, dubbed the Cross Border Xpress, is set to open next summer. With this bridge, it’ll be easier than ever to catch a plane from Tijuana. Read the details in this U-T San Diego article.
- Mayor Faulconer and Mayor Jorge Astiazarán signed a collaboration agreement. As I mentioned earlier, the mayors of Tijuana and San Diego signed an agreement that aims to increase collaboration between the two regions. According to the U-T San Diego, the agreement will recognize that the leaders from the binational region are aligned on key issues: infrastructure, water, tourism, border crossings, innovations and economic development.
NST and Baja California
From managing the first joint San Diego-Tijuana research and strategy effort in 1981 to assisting with the Vision Ensenada 2025 project, NST has a long history of working on campaigns that affect both sides of the border. We understand the importance of the binational region and are committed to the mission of promoting business opportunities in cross-border trade and collaboration, which is reflected in our recent projects with Tijuana Innovadora and Greatbatch, as well as the San Diego Regional Chamber’s new repositioning effort our team recently led.
Whether it’s camping on the beach of San Felipe, wine tasting in Valle de Guadalupe or eating our way around Tijuana’s best restaurants, NSTers love exploring Baja California. One of our team’s favorite memories was going down to Ensenada in 2010 to celebrate NST founder Dave Nuffer’s 78th birthday.
As you can see, it’s an incredibly exciting time for the region. We’d like to encourage San Diegans to go south to experience the amazing culture, food and wine, and we’d like to invite Tijuanenses up to San Diego to check out all the great things we have to offer. Our entire team is enthusiastic about the new era of opportunities and look forward to collaborating with more businesses, leaders and media throughout our mega-region.