Alan Bakaitis has been named chief operations officer of the Kansas Turnpike Authority.
Mr. Bakaitis, who joined the KTA in 1998 as the director of toll operations, will oversee the day-to-day operation of the turnpike. In his new role, he will also continue to manage the collection of non-electronic payment.
Under legislation approved by the 2013 Kansas Legislature, the KTA now falls under the umbrella of the Kansas Department of Transportation. Since the legislation became law, the KTA board has elected Transportation Secretary Mike King the director of KTA. As such, the Secretary will have oversight of the administration of the turnpike as well as KDOT.
“Over the past 15 years, Alan has helped build the KTA into the great facility it is today,” said Secretary King.
“As KTA transitions to a closer working relationship with KDOT, I know he will continue to serve turnpike travelers, Kansans and the KTA staff in the same professional manner he has for the past decade and a half.”
Download PDF to read entire release.July 16, 2013 Media Release
“From now on, when I get in the car to go anywhere, I’m going to remember what that felt like and immediately buckle up.”
That’s what Dan Cannon of Texas said at the Turnpike’s annual safety event in 2012 after riding in the Kansas Highway Patrol’s “Convincer”.
“It looked a lot slower than it felt,” he said.
The Convincer, which simulates a 5-mile per hour crash, will be available again at the 2013 safety event scheduled for Thursday, May 23, from 3 to 7 pm at the Towanda Service Area, MM 65 between Wichita and El Dorado on I-35/Kansas Turnpike.
“We have several tools that we can use to educate drivers and encourage responsible behavior like wearing a safety belt and not driving while impaired,” said Capt. Joe Bott, Commander of KHP Troop G, which is assigned to the Turnpike. “The Convincer is one of our more popular and effective pieces of equipment because it’s interactive.”
Travelers will be able to experience more than just the Convincer:
• Safe Kids of Wichita will be offering free child safety seat checks.
• See how quickly the temperature rises inside a vehicle on Thursday evening and why it’s important never to leave pets or children inside — even with the windows cracked open.
• Standard sobriety tests can be conducted while participants wear three different levels of “DUI” goggles, showing the effects of alcohol on reaction time and judgment.
This safety demonstration is held annually at a service area on the Kansas Turnpike prior to the Memorial Day weekend — the traditional kick-off to summer — which brings more traffic to the road. KTA and KHP Troop G will also celebrate the start of the Turnpike’s State Farm Safety Assist. This motorist assistance program is available on I-70 between Topeka and Kansas City and on I-35 between Wichita and the Oklahoma border during the summer months.
Download PDF to read entire release.May 20, 2013 Media Release
WICHITA — The Kansas Turnpike Authority has approved a toll increase effective February 1, 2013. Increases will be structured in the following ways:
• Cash rates for 2-4 axles (cars/light trucks), 10% on average; K-TAG rates for 2-4 axles (cars/light trucks), 5% on average
• Cash and K-TAG rates for 5-9 axles (large commercial vehicles, 5% on average
The increase will assist the Turnpike in supporting future capital needs, especially ongoing deck replacements on some of KTA’s 348 bridges. The Turnpike’s financial plan is based on modest, somewhat frequent increases — approximately every three years — rather than deferring until larger increases are necessary. This toll increase remains consistent with the KTA’s mission of providing high-quality, highway transportation services for the lowest reasonable cost.
Travelers can save up to 30 percent on tolls by getting a K-TAG, depending on which payment option is chosen. K-TAGs are available at staffed exit lanes, AAA offices in Kansas, The Merc in Lawrence, Leavenworth County Annex in Tonganoxie, and online at http://www.myktag.com.
The Kansas Turnpike Authority was created by the legislature in 1953 and authorized to privately finance building the Kansas Turnpike. The roadway is 236-miles long, stretches from Oklahoma to Kansas City, and connects the three largest cities in Kansas — Wichita, Topeka and Kansas City. Tolls support the operation and maintenance of the Kansas Turnpike. No federal or state tax dollars have ever been used on the Kansas Turnpike.
Download PDF to read entire release.November 5, 2012 Media Release
Fuel is now available at the Towanda Service Area (MM 65) on the Turnpike/I-35 between Emporia and Wichita. KTA and GasMart USA, based out of Overland Park, have been working diligently to restore fuel service at both the Towanda Service Area and the Matfield Green Service Area (MM 97) for the past two days. Fuel at the Matfield Green Service Area should be available shortly.
The Kansas Turnpike Authority Board approved the assignment of the lease from PCF Saleco to GasMart USA effective as of noon today. This became necessary this past Monday when PCF Saleco informed KTA of their inability to provide fuel at these two locations.
To provide additional customer service during this transition period, KTA is extending the State Farm Safety Assist to include the Emporia to Wichita I-35 corridor.
Download PDF to read entire release.August 29, 2012 Media Release
At the request of PCF Saleco, the fuel and convenience store operator for the Towanda (MM 65) and Matfield Green (MM 97) Service Areas on the Kansas Turnpike, the Kansas Turnpike Authority Board approved the assignment of their leases to GasMart USA, based out of Overland Park. PCF Saleco is experiencing some difficult business issues and requested this change so KTA customers will continue to have continuous access to fuel.
KTA is working diligently with GasMart USA to provide immediate fuel and convenience store services to KTA customers. This is especially important during this upcoming, busy holiday weekend.
Download PDF to read entire release.August 28, 2012 Media Release
There are historical markers at some of the Service Areas that show areas of interest. The Turnpike crosses the historic Santa Fe Trail near milepost 155 and the Oregon Trail near milepost 189.