Skip to content

John Kilpatrick Turnpike goes cashless

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority began its five-year plan of moving away from cash and coins after the John Kilpatrick Turnpike became cashless July 25.
Joe Echelle, deputy director of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, said the move toward cashless payments is because of many factors, but specifically, safety.
“We’ve had, in the last six years, more than 500 accidents at toll plazas,” he said. “Some of those injuring toll plaza workers and toll booth attendants.”
The most dangerous location on the turnpikes is at the cash toll plazas and booths, the director noted.
“We are trying to mitigate that safety issue,” Echelle said.
PlatePay, the authority’s new system, allows people to drive on the turnpikes without stopping to give toll plaza employees cash or coins.
He said the employees, who were working inside the toll plazas, will be moving to the call centers for the authority. None of the toll collectors on the John Kilpatrick Turnpike have worked on the tolls since June 2020, Echelle added.
“We’ve got other jobs they could do,” he said. “This just gets them out of a hazardous location and gets them into a safe working environment.”
PIKEPASS lanes are the only lanes available to turnpike users. Maintenance crews coned off coin lanes beginning July 25 and continued Monday.
Transitioning away from cash and coins on the John Kilpatrick Turnpike will cost approximately $2.1 million. Echelle said the tolls were due for renovations, whereas the authority would have had to spend $10 million on each toll plaza on the John Kilpatrick Turnpike.
“It’s a huge savings,” Echelle said.
The move toward a cashless system will make driving on the turnpike faster for people who do wish to pay cash because they won’t have to stop and pay, rather they will receive an invoice every 30 days from the authority.
“You will drive through, and we will catch a picture of your license plate,” Echelle said. “Within five business days, we will mail out your very first invoice.”
If drivers continue to use the turnpikes after making an account with their license plate, every 30 days an invoice will be mailed from the authority, regarding how much they owe them.
“We still want people to move to PIKEPASS,” Echelle said. “It’s the cheapest for the customer and the cheapest for us to use and most efficient.”
He said a phone number that is meant for people to call and become a PIKEPASS member will be with every invoice sent from the authority.
For more information about the transition to cashless turnpike payments, visit platepay.com.

Leave a Comment