Check out these NEW videos produced by the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce and the Smart Border Coalition that outline the Commuter Card Program.
Click here to see Spanish version Click here to see English version
Because of our proximity to the border, a great deal of employees are residing in Tijuana and coming to work every day to Otay Mesa. Many of these employees have a legal permanent resident card (known as green card). This permit allows you to work in the US but also requires you to reside in the US. People in this situation are not in compliance with US law and can face repercussions, such as inadmissibility into the US.
Fortunately, there is a commuter card program that allows people to work in the US and reside in Mexico. This program will allow your employees to abide by the law and be eligible for trusted traveler program, such as SENTRI and Global Entry. This can be a huge productivity boost for your companies because employees would see a dramatic reduction in wait times when crossing the border in addition to more predictable wait times, therefore decreasing tardiness to work, not to mention a significant increase in quality of life for workers.
Check out these presentations by the Smart Border Coalition that outline the key benefits and potential disadvantages of the Commuter Card Program. If you are interested in a detailed presentation about this program to your employees, please email our Executive Director, Alejandra Mier y Teran.
ENGLISH VERSION | SPANISH VERSION
The Trade Corridor Enhancement Program, created by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) and funded by the recent gas tax increase and federal dollars, provides approximately $400-$500 million annually for infrastructure improvements on federally designated Trade Corridors of National and Regional Significance, on the Primary Freight Network, and along other corridors corridors that have a high volume of freight movement. The California Transportation Commission, which is tasked with implementing this program, recently approved $1.39 billion in infrastructure projects from this program, including $89 million for the border region. The following projects in Otay Mesa were funded:
- $6 million for Phase 1 of the Otay Truck Route Phase IV (as previously announced in our newsletter).
- $21.9 million for the South Bay Expressway/905 Southbound connectors
- $37.1 million for the Siempre Viva Interchange/State Route 11
- $5 million for the Otay II Port of Entry
- $11.9 million for technology that will display accurate border wait times to the traveling public at all California-Baja California Ports of Entry.
A complete list of projects can be found here. Special thanks to CALTRANS, SANDAG and Senator Hueso for their support in this effort. See Senator Hueso’s letter to the CTC.
As we reported last week, a new bus route will be in place in June of this year. In addition in the next couple of years, MTS will be working on setting up a new bus loop (Route 925) between Otay Mesa and Imperial Beach with electric buses.
Boosted by a $41 million grant awarded from the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP), MTS will purchase 11 zero-emission articulated buses to operate service on the newly proposed Rapid 925 route. Rapid 925 will be a 25.3 miles round trip between the Otay Mesa Transit Center and Imperial Beach, providing a direct connection to the UC San Diego Blue Line. Operation of Rapid 925 would be funded by MTS through another SB 1 grant program. Additional funds will be destined to improve the existing stops along the new Rapid 925 to the standard of stops in the existing MTS Rapid network. Improvements include lighted shelters with seating, electronic signage with real-time arrival information, as well as curb pop-outs to provide more room for waiting and boarding passengers at some locations.
TIRCP funding is provided through Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) and from the proceeds of the Cap and Trade program which will help modernize the MTS system, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve safety.
Thank you MTS for investing in our region.
The City of San Diego received a $6 million grant for the Otay Truck Route Phase IV. This project will allow the City to improve the additional “border fence” road by adding an emergency lane.
For more information on this project visit our website: Click here
MEXPORT’s Inaugural B2B Sessions include major manufacturers and service providers such as Plantronics, Kyocera and Jensen Meat, in addition to a variety of industry representatives from the medical, aerospace, furniture and electronics industry.
Major services and components being sought out include labels, packaging, plastics, copper and steel wiring, trucking and specialized logistics services.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to meet with these companies. Get your booth now and participate in the B2B sessions at no extra cost.
Our member Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Baja California (TMMBC) has begun using specialized post-processing services from Pasha Automotive Services at the National City Marine Terminal.
Toyota Tacoma trucks arrive via auto hauler to National City Marine Terminal from TMMBC’s. Following processing and accessorization, the Toyota Tacoma trucks will then be transported from National City via Pasha Hawaii’s Jones Act roll-on/roll-off vessels to Toyota dealers in Hawaii, or via rail and auto hauler to dealer destinations across the Continental U.S. and Mexico.
Marijuana Production Facilities have applied for Conditional Use Permits to operate facilities in Otay Mesa.
Unlike marijuana dispensaries, which are limited to four per City of San Diego District, marijuana production facilities are limited to 40 within the City of San Diego and they are approved through a Conditional Use Permit process. The application process can be found here.
- Organizations, such as the Chamber, and businesses would have the opportunity to voice support or concerns at the Otay Mesa Planning Group, the City Planning Commission, and City Council.
- The CTPAT office within Customs and Border Protection has made the following statement.
- Marijuana production facilities are only eligible to be considered if they are located in properties zoned IL-1, 2 or 3 or IH-1 or 2. Properties under the International Business and Trade, IBT-1-1, are not eligible.
- There are currently 9 applications in Otay Mesa moving forward in the permitting process and the proposed facilities are located at: 9731 Siempre Viva Road, 2335 Paseo De Las Americas, 2275 Michael Faraday Drive, 2365 Marconi Court, 1515 Laurel Bay Lane, 9870 Marconi Drive, 9874 Via de la Amistad, 9565 Heinrich Drive, and 2220 Niels Bohr Ct.
Attention Trucking Companies: Don’t miss this interesting article about how electric trucks have evolved and are now viable economically and could even save you money while reducing carbon emissions.
Trucks are the lifeblood of commerce. Perhaps nowhere is that more true than in the San Diego region, where the economy thrives on the movement of goods between the United States and Mexico. While the truck traffic is vital to our region’s economy, it’s also a major source of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The good news is that with today’s advanced battery technology, businesses can both save money in operating costs and reduce local vehicle emissions by switching to electric trucks.
In recent years, electric vehicle (“EV”) technology – particularly battery technology – has come down significantly in cost, while also improving in performance. As a result, the passenger EV market has blossomed, and the medium and heavy-duty EV market is emerging. Tesla’s recent unveiling of its Class 8 semi-truck has generated lots of excitement around medium-duty and heavy-duty EVs. The Tesla semi is expected to hit roads in 2019. Observers expected the vehicle to have a range of 200 miles. However, it beat the expectations of some analysts. According to Tesla’s website, the larger battery model will be able to travel 500 miles between charges. The base model (300-mile range) is expected to come in at $150k, also beating expectations by analysts. The most exciting part is that the total cost of ownership is projected to be better than incumbent vehicles due to much lower maintenance and fuel costs. Major players are already lining up to receive the vehicle. Reservations and deposits have been made by United Parcel Service (“UPS”) (125 trucks), PepsiCo (100 trucks), Sysco (50 trucks), Anheuser-Busch (40 trucks) and others. Tesla is not alone in targeting this market. They face competition from Daimler Fuso, Navistar International, Volkswagen, Cummins, BYD, and others.
Better than expected vehicle costs and range are one part of the puzzle. Another piece of the puzzle is the growing EV charging network in California. The state’s three major electric utilities have put forth EV charging infrastructure programs that will provide charging infrastructure for reduced or no cost to the customer. Additionally, California has set aside hundreds of millions of dollars to reduce the up-front cost of medium-duty and heavy-duty electric vehicles of all weight classes. More information on programs and incentives can be found here