Southbound border traffic into Whatcom County slowed significantly in the first three months of 2015.
During the first quarter slightly more than 3 million passengers went south across the five Whatcom County border crossings, down 12.2 percent compared to the same period in 2014, according to data gathered by Western Washington University’s Border Policy Research Institute.
In March the southbound passenger tally was nearly 1.1 million, while January and February were each under one million passengers.
The weaker Canadian dollar is considered a major factor in the border traffic decline. Since the beginning of the year, the loonie fell from 86 cents compared to the U.S. dollar to around 78 cents at the end of January. The Canadian dollar has rallied in the past week, closing on Monday, May 4, at 82 cents compared to the U.S. dollar.