Hola Tijuana, Adiós SAN

2017 is a year of reinvention for Travelers Aid Society of San Diego as it opens one door and another is closed.

Travelers Aid on July 1 will expand its operations to include the Cross Border Xpress, an enclosed 390-foot pedestrian bridge to the Tijuana Airport passengers crossing the U.S./Mexico border. Travelers Aid will provide volunteers offering its traditional line of airport services.

The privately owned and operated sky bridge opened in December 2015. On most days, 5,000 passengers pay the fee to walk across the border rather than drive. The terminal in San Diego County includes duty-free shopping along with food and beverage sales.

However, 90 days later Travelers Aid relationship of more than 50 years with San Diego International Airport will come to an end. The airport will take the management of more than 350 volunteers in-house as it did not renew the management contract with Travelers Aid. At this time, it is not certain how many of the Travelers Aid volunteers will continue to serve the airport guests.

Among the programs Travelers Aid offers at San Diego airport is a dog therapy program.

At press time, neither airport contract has been covered by the local media.

Travelers Aid volunteers continue to staff an information booth at the Santa Fe Rail Station in downtown San Diego.

The Traveler Aid's transportation services makes up 35% of the agency's budget. The bulk of the agency's funds are spent on its social service programs.