OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma turnpikes are taking the steps to go cashless. Now one of the major ones in the metro has a date for the change.
“This morning, when I first came through, there was a truck pulling a truck that was trying to back up because he couldn’t get through,” said a woman waiting to pay her toll.
“Beginning July 25th, here on the Kilpatrick Turnpike, we will take away the cash machines and this turnpike will go all cashless,” said Jack Damrill, Oklahoma Turnpike Authority Director of Communications.
The new system is simple. If a driver does not have a Pikepass, their license plate will be scanned and a bill will be sent to the vehicle’s owner.
But the change comes at a cost.
“The rates right now will be roughly about 75 percent higher than what the current cash rate [is],” Damrill said.
For example, it currently costs around $3 to go from Interstate 35 to Interstate 40 on the Kilpatrick Turnpike without a Pikepass.
Under the cashless system, that cost will go up to $5.30.
OTA’s Jack Damrill says it’s a necessary change, as the current machines tend to malfunction and cause safety hazards.
“The safety aspect is tremendous for us because you won’t have people stopping. You won’t have people getting out of their cars looking for cash. We have a lot of people trying to find coins on the ground,” Damrill said.
And he says it should eventually work with paper tags as well.
“We are working with the tax commission. I believe they’re gonna roll out a new system as far as paper plates are considered. I’m not sure on the timing on that,” Damrill said.
Turnpike drivers are hopeful it will keep traffic flowing.
“That would be a lot more convenient for me,” said a woman KFOR spoke with.
“I think it’s better,” said a woman who couldn’t get the change machine to work.
Again, July 25 is the day the Kilpatrick will convert to cashless. The Creek and Bailey turnpikes will come next year.
But a warning, if you choose to not pay your mailed bill within 4 months, OTA can put a stop flag on your license plate registration.