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Daily Clock Flux Makes Rhythm Tough For TJ Commuters

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

The moon was still high in the sky this morning as thousands of drowsy commuters streamed across the border from Tijuana. Mexico doesn't move its clock forward for another three weeks. People had to wake up an hour early to make it to work in San Diego on time. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has more.

Lena Mendoza poured steaming cups of hot chocolate for sleepy commuters this morning at her stand alongside the San Ysidro border crossing.

She pulled herself out of bed an hour earlier than normal, at 3 a.m., to be there for her customers -- who were also an hour early due to the time change across the border.

She says all of her customers are complaining that the time change is bad. She says they'll all just be tired for awhile -- herself included -- until they get accustomed.

About 30,000 people cross the border from Tijuana to go to work in San Diego everyday.

Some, like Roxana Salivar, who was waiting in the Sentri lane, say they'll have two time zones in their homes for the next three weeks.

Salivar : My kids go to school in Tijuana. So I have to have some of my clocks set to Tijuana time and then some of my clocks to San Diego time because I live on that time.

Others, like machine shop worker Antonio Aguirre, have decided to forsake Tijuana time all together.

Aguirre : I work in California -- my time is in California.

Some business groups in Tijuana plan to lobby Mexico's Congress so Mexico springs forward early next year.

In the meantime, Tijuana's burgeoning D'Volada coffee chain plans to open the doors at its shop along the border an hour earlier tomorrow. Workers there said they weren't sure how early traffic would start -- so today they opened at the normal time. But they say sleepy commuters need their coffee. Amy Isackson, KPBS news.

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