The Fast LaneRSS

The official blog of the Kansas Turnpike Authority

It can be stressful to find the right gift for your loved ones during the holiday season. However, there is something you can give that is affordable, practical, and easy to get—a K-TAG!

You might be thinking, “A K-TAG as a gift? Why would I give that?” A K-TAG is affordable—the tag is free! With a 15 percent savings on tolls, the gift keeps on giving throughout the entire year, and not just the holidays. When you request a tag, you will set up your account right away. Your gift will be ready to give instantly, and you can even manage the account online. Or if you already have a K-TAG for yourself, you can request a new tag to simply be added to the already existing account.

Now the question remains, “Who would I give a K-TAG to?” That part is easy. We have several ideas:

  • College student: A college student does a lot of traveling during their time in school. With a K-TAG, he or she can make their traveling easier by avoiding the stop at a tollbooth. It may even be an incentive to visit home!
  • Those on a budget: A K-TAG is a great gift for someone who may not always have the economical resources to pay tolls.
  • Parent/Grandparent: Connect yourself to your loved ones, especially if your parent or grandparent does not feel they have the computer savvy skills to secure and/or manage one for themselves.
  • Yourself: You deserve to save time and tolls, too! Many people have a New Year’s resolution to save more money. A K-TAG is just the way to do it with the 15 percent savings on tolls you receive when using the tag.

What are you waiting for? Give the gift that saves time and money. Order a K-TAG now at http://www.myktag.com or call 1-800-USE-KTAG. Or visit your local Kansas AAA store to pick one up today.

During the winter I like to know the temperature along the roadway so I know what kind of conditions such as ice can be expected. I have seen this information before but can’t seem to locate it now. Is it still available?

Thanks for your question. Yes, you can still access weather information at select points along the Turnpike via our web site. It can be found on the Travel Information tab and on the KTA Map & Weather page. Once on this page, click the circle icons on the map to display air temp, wind, and precipitation information. You could also view locations by selecting the ‘Cameras’ tab found on the top edge of the map.

 

I’m not sure how a K-TAG works. Since you are giving away free K-TAGs does that mean travel is free in Kansas and now Oklahoma?

The K-TAG program provides travelers using the Turnpike a way to save time and save tolls. The actual device, the K-TAG sticker, is now free (until recently it cost $15.) Having a K-TAG means tolls on the Kansas Turnpike are 15% less than the cash rate. Through our recent partnership with the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, customers with a K-TAG can travel in Oklahoma without stopping to pay tolls by using the PikePass lanes when driving on one of Oklahoma's ten turnpikes. Through the partnership, they graciously extend their electronic toll rate to K-TAG travelers. Currently, that "equates to an average of 5% saving off the posted cash rate for tolls" per their web site www.pikepass.com.  To learn more about the K-TAG program, visit our web site at www.myktag.com.

 

Now that K-TAG works in Oklahoma we removed our PIKEPASS from our vehicle and kept our K-TAG. What happens to the credit we have on our PIKEPASS account?

As you know, a K-TAG can now be used in Oklahoma and Oklahoma's PikePass can be used here in Kansas. While the two states' tags are now compatible, each toll authority operates independently of each other and thus the K-TAG and PikePass accounts remain separate. You will need to contact Oklahoma's PikePass Customer Service about the credit balance in that account. You can reach them at 1-800-PIKEPASS (1-800-745-3727).

If you have other questions please let us know. Information about our partnership with Oklahoma can be found on our web site at http://www.ksturnpike.com/travel_information/interoperability. You can also call our K-TAG Customer Service Center at 1-800-USE-KTAG (1-800-873-5824.)

 

Do you have a question for us? Submit it here!*

*Select Mailbag in the Department Selection

Early preparation is key!

Our maintenance crews prepare for the upcoming winter season as soon as the current one ends, usually sometime around March or April. Our main focus is inspecting the trucks, making any necessary repairs, and selling vehicles that don’t meet the standards at auction. This allows us to budget and order new, replacement trucks that are completely computerized, making treatment easier and more accurate.

We also make sure materials needed to treat the road are secured. Any salt that will be needed for the next year is ordered. A substance called Beet 55, which is made out of beet juice and calcium chloride, is also obtained. This substance allows for the salt to work at lower temperatures, as salt’s effectiveness stops at 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

We get out in the weather!

When winter has arrived, we keep a sharp eye on the weather forecast since it’s ever changing. Once snow and ice are truly expected, our real work begins.

First, we apply brine, a salt and water mixture, to the roadway. The brine keeps the roads from freezing, allowing better traction and safer driving conditions for our customers. (Learn how brine works at http://bit.ly/139skp0)

Since our crews will be working hard once the storm hits, we adjust workers schedules. Often this means they leave early just prior to the storm’s arrival to rest before coming back for a 12-hour shift treating the road.

When an inch or more of snow accumulates, our crews can be found plowing the roads. The trucks can even plow while they treat the roads at the same time! Plows move at approximately 25-35 mph, so if you encounter one, be patient and give them space. Remember, the best road conditions are behind the plow!

We strive to make road conditions the best they can possibly be for you, especially during inclement weather. Stay tuned for next month’s issue when we offer tips on driving in winter weather.

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KTA Fact

The original 1954 bond issue has been paid off and new bonds have been issued for financing safety improvements, major reconstruction projects and upgrading.

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