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Expanded Kansas/Oklahoma/Texas toll transponder interoperability now here!

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J N Winkler:

--- Quote from: Baloo Uriza on May 19, 2017, 05:44:46 AM ---We've had PIKEPASS interoperability on KTA and NTTA roads for about a year now.  But, I don't have a reason to go that deep into Kansas, and Dallas is a hot mess of public and private toll roads and not obvious who operates what, plus all the toll roads in the DFW area have state highways immediately adjacent so I don't bother with 'em at all when I'm there.
--- End quote ---

I have a K-Tag and this development removes the need for me to avoid electronically tolled toll roads altogether in Texas, though I am not sure a K-Tag will help me if I go HOV in Texas and want to use an express lane where the toll is variable according to occupancy.  PikePass has of course already been interoperable with NTTA infrastructure (TollTag) for years, but I am pretty sure PikePass holders have gained access to both HCTRA (EZ Tag) and TTD (TxTag) toll roads, but with the same caveat about the use of express lanes with variable tolling according to vehicle occupancy.  What is not clear to me at this point is whether a different type of transponder (maybe active type with driver dial-in of occupancy level) is required to use these express lanes at all, or if out-of-town drivers can use their passive-type transponders and simply overpay the toll if they happen to be HOV.

I also disbelieve KTA's claim about all toll roads in Texas.  There are some border bridges with electronic tolling that have long not been interoperable even with toll roads deeper into Texas and I am not sure the deployment of the new hub has changed this.

Texas also has some small-beer toll facilities where transponders, of whatever type, are no good because electronic tolling is not available at all.  One example of this is the toll bridge maintained by Brazoria County that carries the county road continuation of FM 3005 over San Luis Pass southwest of Galveston.  I presume there is a mechanism for these small operators to buy into TxTag, which seems to be at least the de facto statewide transponder network, but that many won't unless they are compelled to do so by state law.

Bobby5280:

--- Quote from: J N Winkler ---I suspect it does expand interoperability for PikePass customers because, AIUI, the hub shares customer files out to all participating agencies.  Publicity is probably on its way to you; I first heard of this development (as, I suspect, did Richie) through the KTA's "Turnpike Times" email newsletter.
--- End quote ---

I've checked with OTA's PikePass web site. They have little if anything in terms of recent press releases. About the only thing noteworthy is the notice to PikePass customers that they must maintain a positive balance in their account when using KTA and NTTA toll roads. I assume this is for people who manually replentish the money in their accounts. Normally if my account drops below $10 it will automatically bill my credit card $40. Will it not do that if I'm driving on KTA or NTTA toll roads?


--- Quote from: Baloo Uriza ---We've had PIKEPASS interoperability on KTA and NTTA roads for about a year now.  But, I don't have a reason to go that deep into Kansas, and Dallas is a hot mess of public and private toll roads and not obvious who operates what, plus all the toll roads in the DFW area have state highways immediately adjacent so I don't bother with 'em at all when I'm there.
--- End quote ---

AFAIK PikePass works on every Dallas-Fort Worth toll road except for the toll road through the DFW airport. I have taken full advantage of the "Lexus Lanes" along LBJ Freeway in North Dallas and the Dallas North Tollway. It's not fun to pay the tolls, but I consider it far worse to be snarled in a traffic jam on the "free" lanes of the LBJ Freeway. I'll burn more gasoline and time than what the "Lexus Lane" toll costs. The same goes for taking surface streets to avoid the DNT. Traffic can be infuriating in Addison and other North Dallas cities. The red lights are excruciatingly long, green lights far too short and attention spans of other drivers even shorter. Too many drivers at the front of the line in an intersection have their faces buried in their phones, updating Facebook or what ever rather than noticing the light turned green several seconds ago. The damned thing is turning yellow (and even red) before you can finally crawl through it. If you end up stuck at the red, thanks to some phone-using jerk you're going to be sitting there a long damned time.

I'll use the hell out of those toll lanes in DFW. The money spent is a good investment in me maintaining my sanity behind the wheel!

J N Winkler:

--- Quote from: Bobby5280 on May 19, 2017, 01:20:12 PM ---About the only thing noteworthy is the notice to PikePass customers that they must maintain a positive balance in their account when using KTA and NTTA toll roads. I assume this is for people who manually replentish the money in their accounts. Normally if my account drops below $10 it will automatically bill my credit card $40. Will it not do that if I'm driving on KTA or NTTA toll roads?
--- End quote ---

I don't understand what is going on there.  Another item in the same KTA "Turnpike Times" newsletter that deals with Texas interoperability deals with a change to the billing cycle.  KTA now takes payment on the 15th of the month, which means that regular Turnpike users will get statements at the start of the month that indicate outstanding amounts owed for which payment will be taken automatically on the 15th if they have a credit card on file.  I think it is possible not to have a credit card on file, and it is certainly possible to make a payment manually to bring an account into credit, but personally I just keep a credit card on file and don't worry about tolls being paid unless I am getting violation notices or being billed for toll gate transits that don't correspond to my travel.

It may be that OTA, like E-ZPass agencies such as ISTHA but unlike KTA, has a prepayment requirement, which can potentially cause trouble even for credit-card-linked accounts if the replenishment threshold is too low and there are limits on when or how often the credit card can be billed.

KTA is also pushing K-Tag customers to register bank accounts (not just credit cards) so that expiration of a credit card doesn't block toll payment.

dfwmapper:

--- Quote from: J N Winkler on May 19, 2017, 11:28:36 AM ---I have a K-Tag and this development removes the need for me to avoid electronically tolled toll roads altogether in Texas, though I am not sure a K-Tag will help me if I go HOV in Texas and want to use an express lane where the toll is variable according to occupancy.  PikePass has of course already been interoperable with NTTA infrastructure (TollTag) for years, but I am pretty sure PikePass holders have gained access to both HCTRA (EZ Tag) and TTD (TxTag) toll roads, but with the same caveat about the use of express lanes with variable tolling according to vehicle occupancy.  What is not clear to me at this point is whether a different type of transponder (maybe active type with driver dial-in of occupancy level) is required to use these express lanes at all, or if out-of-town drivers can use their passive-type transponders and simply overpay the toll if they happen to be HOV.

--- End quote ---
The TEXpress lanes in North Texas have a website an Android/iOS app that you have to use 15 minutes before you take the lanes to get the peak-time HOV discount. It works with all 3 Texas transponders, but doesn't mention discounts for out-of-state tags. The out-of-state tags should work at full price at all times. Houston's METRO HOT lanes have separate lanes for HOV and SOV at the tolling points and would would without a transponder if you're an HOV, or I think with any transponder for tolled SOV during hours when that is available.

route56:

--- Quote from: J N Winkler on May 19, 2017, 02:15:10 PM ---Another item in the same KTA "Turnpike Times" newsletter that deals with Texas interoperability deals with a change to the billing cycle.  KTA now takes payment on the 15th of the month, which means that regular Turnpike users will get statements at the start of the month that indicate outstanding amounts owed for which payment will be taken automatically on the 15th if they have a credit card on file.  I think it is possible not to have a credit card on file, and it is certainly possible to make a payment manually to bring an account into credit

--- End quote ---

I think the KTA does require a credit card or bank account on file for K-TAG accounts.

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