Oklahoma turnpike tolls to increase 2.5%

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Heads up for drivers who take the Oklahoma Turnpikes: the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority announcing a rate hike, but not everyone will have to pay more.

Only cash customers will be affected by this 2.5% increase, not Pikepass users.

But, some drivers News4 spoke with say the tolls are already high enough.

“Give us a break,” said David Filippo, a driver. “Give us a break. I don’t like it.”

Frustrated cash customers are scrapping up some extra change to prepare for another toll increase along the turnpike.

“It’s expensive and especially when you travel it a lot,” said Filippo. “It does add up. I think if anything, it should go down, maybe.”

But, others say they don’t mind.

“I think it’s fair,” said Linda Barnett. “I know they’re trying to get people to buy Pikepasses and I understand that. It is so well traveled. They need the money to keep it nice.”

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority says the rate hike is a part of the Driving Forward Program announced in 2015.

Some of the money already put to use in Eastern Oklahoma County where a turnpike expansion is underway.

But, Damrill says there’s a lot more work to be done.

“This money is used for maintenance and obviously for expansion projects,” said Jack Damrill, the Director of Communications for the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. “We’re out there daily trying to fix the roads. We know we have some bumpy roads along our system.”

Damrill says depending upon the route you take, cash customers will pay between 5 to 25 cents more at each toll.

But, this may not be the last price hike.

“We’ve done less than 10 over our lifetime as an organization,” said Damrill. “We don’t have any plan to increase after this, but as the economy changes, we also have to change.”

At the end of the day, drivers say they’ll pay the higher fee because of the convenience.

“Easy access to get to and from,” said Filippo. “I come to Tulsa a lot.”

“It’s just so easy,” said Barnett. “You just fly through it.”

Cash customers can expect the toll prices to officially go up starting July 15th.

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