Operators report March up 4.9% over 2011-03, car travel stronger, trucks weak
By Peter Samuel
Tollers on the eleven crossings on the NY-MI borders with Canada report traffic in March was 3.07m vs 2.93m in March 2011, a rise of 4.9%. Trucks were down a bit 597k vs 609k March last year, so strength was cars 2.46m vs 2.31m 6.7% up.
Numbers are compiled by the Public Border Operators Association (PBOA) which comprise owners of the ten international bridges and one tunnel.
Ambassador Bridge the leading crossing at 649.7k was virtually unchanged from March last year (646k). #2 Peace Bridge however was up decently from 471.1k to 492.7k, 4.6%, all cars up.
#3 Blue Water Bridge saw a 3.9% hike 402k to 417k, more than all an increase in car traffic (7.4%) with trucks down 3.3%.
#3 crossing in cars is Detroit Windsor Tunnel which saw a 4% increase307k to 320k.
Niagara River bridges saw big increases 03/03 - Lewiston 12%, Rainbow 18%, Whirlpool 31%. Perhaps the mild winter?
Ogdenburg showed a strong March on March hike too 16%.
Year-to-date numbers or first quarter on first quarter 2012-Q1 are 8.30m on 7.79m, up a solid 510k or 6.6%. Cars are 467k of the 510k hike or 91% of it from 2011-Q1.
But on the quarter-on-quarter total trucks are up 2.6% by 43k to 1.69m from 1.65m.
Ambassador Bridge numbers are cars up 40k from 1.04m to 1.1m a 3.8% improvement and trucks up from 663k to 692k a 4.5% rise. Overall the Ambassador did 1.79m vs 1.73m putting it 4% up.
Almost exclusively cars the Detroit Windsor Tunnel is 8.1% ahead at 938k 2012-Q1 vs 868k last years first quarter.
Blue Water is up 5.5% overall going from 1.05m to 1.11m, trucks up barely, but cars going ahead 7.4%.
Sault St Marie (MI/I-75) is up 25k to 454k 5.7% higher.
Again the Niagara bridges are way up with double digit percent age hikes. Lewiston added 91k 12.3%, Rainbow 99k (616k to 715k) 16% and the Whirlpool 27k (84k to 111k) 32%!
Peace Bridge downriver is up a decent but more modest 55k (1.31m vs 1.25m) 4.4%
Going east Thousand Islands (NY/I-81) is up 25k or 7% to 379k, Ogdensburg up 16k or 12% to 149k.
Seaway is the only bridge down 498k this Q1 vs 524k 2011-Q1, off 4.6%.