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Author Topic: Expanded Kansas/Oklahoma/Texas toll transponder interoperability now here!  (Read 11428 times)

route56

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I still haven't tested my K-TAG in Oklahoma. Now, I may need to try the Sam Rayburn Tollway.

Quote from: Kansas Turnpike Authority
WICHITA, Kan.—Seamless regional travel has been expanded. The Kansas Turnpike Authority’s K-TAG now works on all Texas toll roads. KTA also accepts all Texas toll transponders in its electronic lanes. Customers who use multiple transponders to travel in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas are asked to remove all but one transponder to prevent double billing issues.

“We’re excited to make regional travel easier for our customers as the summer travel season begins,” said KTA CEO Steve Hewitt. “This partnership will help facilitate future compatibility efforts with other states’ toll systems.”

This expanded interoperability is due to the creation of the Central States Hub between Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. The “hub”, which took more than 18 months to implement, facilitates transaction communication between the different tolling authorities from the three
states.
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Bobby5280

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I wonder if this affects Oklahoma's PikePass system. Previously the OTA PikePass has been inter-operable on Kansas and Dallas-Fort Worth area toll roads, but not inter-operable on Houston area toll roads or other toll roads using the TX Tag system (like in Austin).
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RoadWarrior56

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The lack of compatibility between the various toll systems is a joke.  There might be more political acceptance of some of the various tolling proposals if it were more convenient and transparent for motorists to pay the tolls, notwithstanding what state you are from.

I have a PeachPass transponder, but I can't use it on EZ-Pass.  I visit the Louisville area  4 times a year and cross the new toll bridges frequently and I can't use PeachPass there either.  PeachPass is supposed to work with SunPass, but it didn't work at approximately half of the toll locations when I was in Florida.

Sorry for the out of topic rant, but I had to vent when I saw the subject of this thread.
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J N Winkler

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I wonder if this affects Oklahoma's PikePass system. Previously the OTA PikePass has been inter-operable on Kansas and Dallas-Fort Worth area toll roads, but not inter-operable on Houston area toll roads or other toll roads using the TX Tag system (like in Austin).

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.

(As it happens, the other day I went for a walk in the neighborhood and passed a car with Oklahoma plates that had both a K-Tag and a PikePass.  This is how you make toll agencies smile.)
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Baloo Uriza

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I wonder if this affects Oklahoma's PikePass system. Previously the OTA PikePass has been inter-operable on Kansas and Dallas-Fort Worth area toll roads, but not inter-operable on Houston area toll roads or other toll roads using the TX Tag system (like in Austin).

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.

(As it happens, the other day I went for a walk in the neighborhood and passed a car with Oklahoma plates that had both a K-Tag and a PikePass.  This is how you make toll agencies smile.)

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.
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J N Winkler

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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.

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.
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Bobby5280

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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.

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.

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!
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J N Winkler

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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?

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.
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dfwmapper

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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.
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.
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route56

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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

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

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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.

All fully tolled roads in the DFW area are public NTTA roads.  All managed lanes currently open are run by private companies.  If I recall correctly, the I-30 managed lanes will be run by TxDOT when they open.  This doesn't make any difference regarding payment.  All of the tolled facilities accept all Texas tags, Pikepass, and now K-TAG, and all of them have a bill by mail option and are open to everyone, regardless of whether you have a tag account.  International Parkway in DFW airport is different.  It isn't really a toll road, but you pay a parking fee based on how long the vehicle is on airport grounds.  It can be used as a toll road, but the cost structure discourages through use by charging a dollar more if you get from one end to the other quickly.
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Baloo Uriza

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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.

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?

It will if you're set up to automatically replenish.  However, OTA had been extending courtesy credit on the assumption that you're good for it.  Problem is the out of state toll roads have relatively unpredictable toll schedules (particularly in DFW), so folks would travel NTTA roads on PIKEPASS with a negative balance, get a crazystupid bill from NTTA's high tolls, then leave the OTA holding their dong in one hand and an empty bag in the other.  So now OTA only allows you to go into the red on your PIKEPASS balance for OTA tolls.

I keep my account balance in the black, but I don't bother with automatic re-upping mostly because I consider OTA borderline incompetent to begin with and would rather just give them cash at the PIKEPASS Store to get account credit.  Nor do I use their roads very often since the whole scheme essentially amounts to a self-service taxicab, BYOC.

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.

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.

My trick with dealing with the LBJ Expressway is, if there's any sort of traffic, stay on the outermost roadways and deal with the traffic lights, but LBJ's kind of a last resort to start with.  In general, if it's not within a stone's throw of TX 121, Dallas Parkway, or US 75; or walking distance to Dallas Union Terminal, it might as well be on the ass end of West Pyongyang as far as I'm concerned or willing to deal with it at all.  If I'm at DFW Airport, it's literally only to change flights.

Fortunately, Texas Furry Fiesta outgrew it's hotel on Dallas Parkway after outgrowing it's original hotel in Farmer's Branch, so now it's going to be held at the Reunion Tower, which is, for all practical purposes, in Dallas Union Terminal.  So I'll just park in Norman or Ardmore and take the Heartland Flyer with friends literally directly into the convention.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 02:06:23 AM by Baloo Uriza »
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J N Winkler

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Yesterday I used the Kansas and Cimarron Turnpikes as part of a day trip to Pawnee, Oklahoma, for the Pawnee Nation homecoming.

At the Southern Terminal on the Kansas Turnpike, the signs that referred both to K-Tag and PikePass (against a green background, if memory serves) have been removed in favor of a new sign that has just the K-Tag logo against a pink (not purple) background, above a yellow bottom panel with "ONLY" and two closely spaced black arrows, notwithstanding there being still just one electronic toll lane in each direction.  I believe these signs are new since my last Turnpike trip on June 10.

In Oklahoma, the electronic toll signing seemed to be unchanged on the Cimarron Turnpike at the US 177 exit with the possible exception of the PikePass logo appearing against the same pink background used with the K-Tag logo in Kansas.  This is certainly new since 2013, and probably also since the spring of 2016, but I can't be sure the current sign wasn't there on my last trip on April 8.  (OTA has never, to my knowledge, used the K-Tag logo on its signs.)

I do not understand why both KTA and OTA are using pink instead of purple background for their toll lane signing.  The current edition of the MUTCD is very clear (§ 2F.03) that purple is to be used in connection with ETC accounts.  As regards KTA's new lane assignment signs at the Southern Terminal, the MUTCD also requires that the "ONLY" message for ETC-only toll lanes be used in black against white because it is a regulatory message, and of course the number of arrows should actually match the number of lanes present.

I have sent KTA an "email" (really a form submit) to point out these concerns, and also suggest that changes in toll plaza signing--which have become confusingly frequent in the last couple of years with PikePass interoperability, backup video tolling, and now interoperability with metropolitan Texas--merit press releases that include sign layouts and sign panel details.
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route56

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At the Southern Terminal on the Kansas Turnpike, the signs that referred both to K-Tag and PikePass (against a green background, if memory serves) have been removed in favor of a new sign that has just the K-Tag logo against a pink (not purple) background,

Maybe they didn't put enough cyan ink in the mixer?
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kphoger

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I'll probably be going to Austin this summer, and my deep distaste for driving through Fort Worth is leading me to plan a route into town on US-183 from Lampasas.  I see on the Toll 183A website that I can pay tolls on that highway with Pikepass.

Can someone please confirm that Pikepass is accepted on 183A?
Are there any highways in Austin that don't accept Pikepass?
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Bobby5280

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According to the Pike Pass FAQ the OTA transponders now work on Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority roads in the Austin area. That includes TX-183A. The toll roads in Austin vary between under CTRMA or TxDOT (and its TxTag). It drives me nuts how many toll road agencies operate in Texas. OTA is slowly getting interoperability agreements made in Texas. Pike Pass works on Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority Roads in Houston, but still not the Harris County Toll Road Authority roads. Pike Pass is still not interoperable with TxTag.
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kphoger

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OTA transponders now work on Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority roads in the Austin area.

Are there toll roads in the Austin area that are under other authorities, on which Pikepass will not work?
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US 81

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OTA transponders now work on Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority roads in the Austin area.

Are there toll roads in the Austin area that are under other authorities, on which Pikepass will not work?

Yes. CTRMA = US 183A & US 290 (both of which have crowded traffic-light-strewn non-tolled street alternatives). TXDoT = TX 45 & TX 130. (discontinuous access/frontage roads, ie, no obvious free parallel roads) Both authorities have other Austin-area toll road projects in varying states of construction.

A quick glance at the TXDoT tollroad website says Pikepass is not yet compatible.
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J N Winkler

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Are there toll roads in the Austin area that are under other authorities, on which Pikepass will not work?

Frankly, I'd just close the PikePass account and get a K-Tag, since the latter works with everything in Texas.  OTA is a signatory to the interoperability agreement but for some reason they are not implementing it.
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Back about 10 years ago, I had both a TxTag account and a PikePass as I mainly used the Oklahoma turnpike system and the one in Austin. When NTTA and OTA became reciprocal, I cancelled both accounts and set up a TollTag account with NTTA and use it for all of the Texas turnpikes, the OTA pikes, and I think I can use it in Kansas too.
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Are there toll roads in the Austin area that are under other authorities, on which Pikepass will not work?

Yes. CTRMA = US 183A & US 290 (both of which have crowded traffic-light-strewn non-tolled street alternatives). TXDoT = TX 45 & TX 130. (discontinuous access/frontage roads, ie, no obvious free parallel roads) Both authorities have other Austin-area toll road projects in varying states of construction.

It's more arbitrary than that, even. A lot of the 45 N project was an expansion along an existing ROW (meaning that continuous frontage roads were built because TxDOT was required to keep that segment accessible for free), and the toll lanes on Mopac are CTRMA alongside TxDOT free lanes. The only advice I would give to anyone who needed to know is that CTRMA toll road shields have a yellow border and Clearview digits, but TxDOT uses a white border with FHWA.

Also, as far as I know, every toll project that's under construction or in the planning stages is CTRMA, even if it's along an existing TxDOT road. The new segment of 45 SW, 183 mainlanes from 290 to 71, 183 express lanes, and so on.
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J N Winkler

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The only advice I would give to anyone who needed to know is that CTRMA toll road shields have a yellow border and Clearview digits, but TxDOT uses a white border with FHWA.

The RMAs were created in the early 2000's when the Texas Legislature punted on raising fuel taxes and I believe at least three--CTRMA, HCRMA, and CCRMA--now either operate toll facilities or have them under construction.  They exist alongside county and regional toll authorities.

CTRMA, NTTA, CCRMA, HCRMA, and TxDOT Turnpike Division are using variants of the same shield design that looks like a double-hung window.  The top rectangle has the route number or acronymized facility designation, inside an elongated version of the appropriate shield if the facility counts as part of a US or Interstate route.  The bottom part has a rendering of the word "toll" and a logo that may be agency-specific.  For NTTA this is the TollTag logo; for CTRMA it is a road-into-star design; for CCRMA, HCRMA, and TxDOT Turnpike Division it is the Lone Star flag.

The latter version is in SHSD and I believe it is available for use by any agency in Texas that does not natively use TxTag, as TxDOT does on its Austin-area toll facilities.  One example is the Katy Freeway managed lanes, which were originally conceived as a self-contained HCTRA facility (the Katy Tollway) with its own pentagon shield like the other HCTRA toll roads, but which was changed during construction to use the Lone Star flag version of the double-hung toll shield.  Like other HCTRA facilities, however, the Katy Freeway managed lanes natively use EZ Tag, not TxTag.

Given that shields don't necessarily line up with transponder type, I think it is really quite irresponsible of OTA to stick to piecemeal interoperability.  This is why I recommend dumping the PikePass if the main motivation for having it is trips to Texas.

Edited to add:  If PikePass is retained, I'd suggest checking the toll signing chapter in the TxMUTCD to see what guarantees, if any, are offered that toll payment signing will be specified in advance of entrance to the facility and that this signing will specify the transponder platform that the facility natively uses.  I recall that such signing is shown in the layouts, but I have not checked that all layouts show it, or that the text requires that motorists always be given this information.  I still think it is better to get a transponder that offers 100% interoperability rather than to bet all on seeing all of the relevant signs (message loading and truck obscuration can be a problem) and being able to challenge a toll violation on the basis of inadequate signing.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 03:27:37 PM by J N Winkler »
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kphoger

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Well, it's very likely that 183A will be the only toll road I need to use while there, so at least that's good news.  The main event is near downtown, and we'd likely get a motel along I-35.
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SoonerCowboy

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  • Posts: 27
  • Location: Choctaw, Oklahoma
  • Last Login: November 28, 2021, 12:00:18 AM

I still haven't tested my K-TAG in Oklahoma. Now, I may need to try the Sam Rayburn Tollway.



I used my Pikepass on the Kansas turnpike to go the the Kansas Star (I am a casino junkie), it worked just fine. Me and my wife has a friend that lives in Allen, TX just off the Sam Rayburn Tollway, and it works just fine. On my bill it has a section for Oklahoma and the NTTA on my statement.
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Phone_Harold

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  • Posts: 14
  • Location: Cincinnati, OH
  • Last Login: April 15, 2021, 12:55:49 AM

OTA announced expanded interoperability with all Texas toll roads on May 1st.
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