• No cash? Turnpike changes undergo testing

    By: Preston Jones , Eddie Randle

    Updated:

    JENKS, Okla. - Quick Facts:

    • The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority will test PlatePay at the Peoria/Elm interchange in January
    • The system photographs license plates and sends bills to drivers
    • PikePass will not change; OTA says it will be the cheapest option
    • PlatePay prices have not been set, but will be more than PikePass because of billing

     

    The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is switching to all electronic tolling at the Peoria and Elm exit in Jenks.

    The director of communications said that is the highest traveled area in their system with 7,800 drivers per day.

    Officials said the electronic tolling will cost the turnpike authority $9 million and the city of Jenks $5 million.

    However, drivers who do not own a PikePass will be billed at a higher rate if they choose to use the system.

    The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority said the new system will cut down on accidents, because people will keep moving.

    Tolls are set to increase by 17 percent by July 2019. The increase will start with a 12 percent increase in 2017, 2.5 percent in January 2018 and then 2.9 percent in July 2019. The authority said that will pay for additional tolls that are being built.

    Some say the authority is lying to taxpayers, building smaller turnpikes that do not generate much traffic, then keeping the high rates to fund all turnpikes.

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