Personal Vehicle Passenger Crossings

Overview

What is the significance of personal vehicle passenger crossings?

The dynamics of personal vehicle passenger crossings through Arizona-Sonora border ports of entry reflect the composite effects of both the economic ties between Arizona and Sonora, as well as border crossing procedures that affect wait times. Since the early 2000’s, periods of economic slowdown, together with increased wait times at border crossings have reduced the number of personal vehicle crossings and the number of passengers, although not at the same rate. Studies of Mexican visitors to Arizona, for example, suggested that although the frequency of vehicle crossings has declined, the number of passengers per car has increased. Among Arizona’s six border ports of entry, Nogales facilitates the largest number of passengers crossing in personal vehicles. San Luis is distant second, followed by Douglas.

What is measured?

Personal vehicles are the primary mode of transportation for people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Data include frequent crossings by local residents, as well as crossings by people traveling to destinations away from the border for the purpose of business, medical services, visiting family and friends, shopping, or leisure. The number of personal vehicle passenger crossings is available for each of Arizona’s six border ports of entry, although the records are available only for northbound crossings. Included are all travelers regardless of country of origin, i.e., Mexican nationals, U.S., and Canadian citizens returning from trips to Mexico. The selected southern border ports of entry used in this analysis   are: Douglas, Lukeville, Naco, Nogales, San Luis, and Sasabe in Arizona; Calexico East in California; Santa Teresa in New Mexico; and, El Paso, Hidalgo, and Laredo in Texas.

No. of and Percent Change of Personal Vehicle Passengers for Nogales District
No. of Personal Vehicle Passengers by Arizona BPOE
No. of Personal Vehicle Passengers by Major So. BPOE

How does Arizona compare?

For comparison, data are provided for a selected number of major ports of entry in Texas and California. Values expressed as percent change allow for comparison of personal vehicle passenger crossing dynamics at individual ports as well as for the state as a whole.

No. of Personal Vehicle Passengers - Arizona as % of All So. BPOE
No. of Personal Vehicle Passengers by Major So. BPOE - Index 1995 (1995 = 100)

 

Monthly data

Monthly data

The table on this page summarizes border crossings at Arizona and major Border Ports of Entry on a monthly basis. Data are updated following release by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Click on any title to graph that series, and export. Or, click "download" at the base of the table to download the dataset, or customize based on a specified range.

 

Annual data

Annual data

The table on this page summarizes border crossings at Arizona and major Border Ports of Entry on an annual basis. Data are updated following release by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Click on any title to graph that series, and export. Or, click "download" at the base of the table to download the dataset, or customize based on a specified range.

 

Source

Bureau of Transportation Statistics , Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, Border Crossing/ Entry Data. Note: Zero values may indicate that no crossings took place at that particular port of entry in a given month or year. Zero values may also indicate that data cannot be recorded due to lack of facilities.

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Important note on border crossings data:

Border crossing data presented on these pages are from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). BTS releases border crossings as monthly data series, however, they release these data three months at a time each quarter. EBRC calculates the annual totals published here. EBRC inspects all data released from public sources for accuracy and consistency. The Center has noticed several issues of concern with the border crossing dataset. In order to improve the consistency and accuracy EBRC has made and continues incorporate the following estimates and corrections to this dataset. This means the data presented here may not always match data on the BTS website.

More information

  • Missing observations in the historical monthly series are estimated when possible and sensible. These estimates are then incorporated into the annual totals published here.  You may request a complete list of estimated values. EBRC believes these estimates greatly improve the accuracy and relevance of these data.
  • Each quarter when BTS releases three more months of data, frequently there are missing data points or incorrect data points.  BTS then often corrects these errors over the course of the quarter, or the data are corrected by BTS the following quarter. After each BTS release, EBRC checks and then corrects or estimates data where possible and needed prior to publication on this website. When BTS makes corrections during the quarter EBRC incorporated these into the monthly data series and annual totals.
  • Because of the two issues mentioned above, EBRC does not publish new data on this website immediately upon the BTS data release.  EBRC may take a week or more to check and correct the data. We will always publish a note informing our users of when the BTS data is released with an estimate for the EBRC data release on this page.
  • The three points above mean that data on this page may not always match data on the BTS website.  It is however the opinion of EBRC that data published on this website are at any given time the most accurate and reasonable reflection of current trends in border crossings.
  • For more information please contact us.