International Bridges Crossborder Survey (IBCS)

Over the years, greater security scrutiny, longer queues and higher wait times have become a source of frustration for crossborder travelers and lost sales for merchants and service providers, especially among retailers who count on purchases from Mexican visitors. To-date, however, little systematic analysis has been conducted on crossborder activities from personal travel or on the effects of bridge delays.

Through a collaborative effort between the City of El Paso International Bridges Department (IBD) and El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF), this research utilizes face-to-face surveys and input-output analysis to address this black box of information with two overlapping objectives in mind: 1) to provide policymakers with regular social and expenditure profiles of crossborder travelers; and, in a subsequent report 2) to estimate the monetary impact of purchases by residents from Mexico across the El Paso economy.

Surveys were conducted all days of the week in morning (7 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and afternoon (3 p.m. to 11 p.m.) shifts from October 1, 2019 to March 17, 2020 on the Mexican side at three of the region’s principal bridges – Paso del Norte-Santa Fe, Bridge of the Americas-Cordova and Ysleta-Zaragoza. The IBCS strategy involves a spatial and temporal dimension that uses stratified random sampling to minimize sampling error and make statistical inferences; that is, to be able to say with high confidence that the sample of persons surveyed is representative of the larger population of personal crossings.

This technical report is the first of three that analyzes the responses from a short survey covering the period October 1, 2019 to March 17, 2020. The study was paused due to COVID-19 which threatened the health of the respondents and interviewers. The subsequent two reports will cover the results to a longer survey that started on January 1, 2020 and the economic impact analysis, respectively.

IBCS Technical Report No. IBD-2020-01 (PDF 24MB) (report in Spanish forthcoming)

IBCS El Paso Ciudad Juárez Social and Expenditure Profile Presentation Findings for October 1, 2019 to March 17, 2020 (PDF 1.02 MB)

IBCS El Paso Ciudad Juárez Social and Expenditure Profile Presentation Findings for October 1, 2019 to March 17, 2020 (Español) (PDF 1.0 MB)

Disclaimer: The research and preparation of this Final Report was undertaken by the City of El Paso International Bridges Department under agreement with El Colegio de la Frontera Norte. Responsibility for the findings and views expressed in the Report lies solely with the abovementioned authors, and should not be construed as representing those of either the City, EL COLEF or its Officers.

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