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Author Topic: Expanded Kansas/Oklahoma/Texas toll transponder interoperability now here!  (Read 902 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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