by Photo courtesy of Horacio Rentería

Justin and Kelsey Schaefer never thought their arrival from Cancún would make history. The couple trekked across the Cross Border Express, better known as CBX, and reached its historic 15 million passenger milestone. 

The Cross Border Express connects San Diego with the Tijuana Airport. Officials celebrated their arrival with confetti and mariachi. 

“I am in shock because crossing the border and experiencing this surprise of being the 15 millionth passenger is something I never imagined,” Justin said in a brief interview with El Latino San Diego.

There were 1.9 million passengers who used the facility from January 2022 to June 2022, according to CBX Spokeswoman Karen Higareda. Officials anticipate 4.2 million passengers by the end of the year, marking the highest year-end total passenger count on record since its opening in 2015,  growing 52.4 percent year over year.

Jorge Goytortua, CEO of CBX, and company staff welcomed the Schafers and granted them a trip to Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico. 

“Reaching the 15 million passenger milestone reassures us that our customer-centric approach, innovation, and technologically advanced infrastructure, have led to consistent growth at CBX,” said Jorge Goytortua, CEO of Cross Border Xpress. “Working closely with U.S. and Mexican authorities, the Tijuana Airport, our commercial partners, and other stakeholders has been vital in this bi-national project. We will continue to work to provide a faster and more efficient connection of the United States with the Tijuana International Airport while providing passengers exceptional customer service.” 

Despite the impact COVID-19 had on travel, Goytortua said CBX “never stopped having passengers”.

“We have been very lucky because people stopped traveling on CBX for a couple of months”, [but] we never stopped having passengers. Every day we had passengers crossing here and the recovery we’ve had as of June 2020 was fantastic, so much so that in 2021, we reached 2.7 million users. We recovered 95% of the traffic we had before COVID,” Goytortua

Goytortua said he expects to see a 10 to 15 percent increase in the facility’s use year over year, further contributing to the economic development of Tijuana. As for short-term goals, the CBX hopes to reach a goal of 4.2 million users annually, but “our great objective is to reach between 7.5 and 8.0 million users by 2035,” he said. 

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