Cross Border Xpress gaining popularity

Posted at 7:19 PM, Mar 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-29 10:39:40-04

TIJUANA, Mexico -- Since it opened four months ago, the Cross Border Xpress has become a popular and useful way for San Diegans to travel to Mexico.

The pedestrian bridge, the world's first-ever binational airport terminal, spans from Otay Mesa to Tijuana's airport. It looks and operates like any other airport terminal, but the only difference is its runway is in Tijuana.

"It's definitely moving at a fast pace," said Ricardo Gutierrez, who was flying to Guadalajara for Spring Break.

"It just expedites the whole process," said Stuart Gordon, who dropped off his daughter, who lives in Mexico City.

Since it opened in December, an average of 2,200 passengers a day use CBX. That number spiked to 5,000 over the Christmas holiday and again during Spring Break.

"We thought that with 700 spaces we had enough space, but really, we found out the demand was quite high," said CBX Chief Commercial Officer Elizabeth Brown.

Before Spring Break, the people who operate CBX got creative and added an additional 500 parking spaces. They expect to add 500 more before the busy Thanksgiving holiday.

"It's not a typical airport and certainly not a typical border crossing, so for us, it's a learning experience," added Brown.

CBX saves travelers time and money. Sometimes, passengers can save up to several hundred dollars flying to their favorite Mexican destination.

"I think people are going to realize this is going to be a money saver in the long run," said Gutierrez.

"We can park on this side, we feel our cars are more secure," said Gordon.

Gordon and his wife Jill plan to use it in the future to visit their daughter Sarah and granddaughter Emelia, who took a flight back to Mexico City where they live.

"We're traveling when millions of other Mexican families are getting onto airplanes and this makes it a lot easier," said Gordon.

CBX has become popular among passengers traveling south and north of the border.

CBX owners plan to add a parking structure and possibly a hotel and a car rental facility.