KTA

Visibility was very low north of El Dorado due to a grass fire, smoke and high winds Friday evening. Traffic was diverted briefly due to smoke and fire encroaching the roadway.

A trip on the Kansas Turnpike will cost more next year. How much more depends on how you pay.

“The majority of customers.... will see an approximate two percent increase for inflation,” a statement from the turnpike authority said Monday. That majority uses K-TAG electronic transponders placed on their windshields.

Old-fashioned travelers who use cash or credit cards at tollbooths will have an increase of about 12 percent. The increases take effect Tuesday, February 1, 2022.

Currently, a trip by car from the main Emporia interchange to Interstate 70 in Topeka costs $2.55 for K-TAG users and $3.50 for cash customers. Monday's announced increase would compute to five cents more with K-TAG and 40 cents more with cash or credit.

Yet a survey released Monday shows more people are likely to take the turnpike south from Emporia to Wichita. It's the second most common trip for drivers, topped only by travel from Topeka to Kansas City.

So a trip south from Exit 127 to U.S. 54, or East Kellogg, in Wichita will go up ten cents in February to $4.10 with K-TAG. The price with cash or credit will jump from $5.25 to about $5.90. The Kansas Turnpike Authority hopes to make the entire distance cashless by 2024.

Authority Chief Executive Officer Steve Hewitt said 12 percent of the Kansas economy relies on the turnpike.

(1) comment

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Ten percent more for cash. Well, we've finally arrived where cash is more troublesome to use than cards. What a crock. The state wants less to do and fewer people to hire so it prefers a doo hickey on your windshield. That's all there is to it. Inflation has nothing to do with it.

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