A purple pedestrian bridge between two terminals that link Tijuana International Airport and San Diego over the U.S.-Mexico border opened to passengers Wednesday morning.
The Cross Border Xpress is the first project to join a site in the U.S. with a foreign airport terminal. It opens 9 a.m. Wednesday and will be open 24/7. Tickets are on sale now.
The $120-million private venture aims to serve about 2.4 million fliers each year who usually would have to queue up in busy border crossings at San Ysidro and Otay Mesa on the California side. The San Diego terminal is between those two crossing sites.
The bridge is restricted to ticketed Tijuana airport passengers flying out within 24 hours. Passengers arriving at the airport may use the border crossing within two hours of landing.
The bridge is free from Wednesday through Dec. 18.
After that, you pay $18 each way, and it costs about $10 a day to park in a long-term lot.
U.S. Customs will operate a checkpoint at the bridge for those entering the country, and the protocols (passport check, visas, etc) are the same as any border crossing. The Transportation Security Administration is not involved with security screening on the Mexican side.
How can this save you money? You might find cheaper flights out of Tijuana, particularly to destinations in Mexico and beyond.
I checked prices on Kayak for nonstop flights to Mexico City in mid-January. The least-expensive round-trip flights from Tijuana cost $114 on VivaAerobus, a no-frills carrier that doesn't operate in Southern California.