Kansas Turnpike tolls going up Oct. 1; many motorists to see increases of more than 12 percent

photo by: Richard Gwin

The eastern Lawrence entrance to the Kansas Turnpike is pictured in this file photo from July 2016.

TOPEKA – The Kansas Turnpike Authority announced Wednesday that it will increase tolls across the board starting Oct. 1 to pay for safety improvements and modernization projects.

The announcement came after the Turnpike Authority’s board finalized the agency’s $145 million budget for the current fiscal year.

People driving passenger cars with a K-TAG or similar device will see an increase of roughly 5 percent. Those who pay cash at the Turnpike gate, which accounts for 40 percent of all Turnpike traffic, will see increases of about 12.5 percent.

That means the cost of a trip from the Lawrence-Lecompton exit at K-10 to the eastern terminal near Kansas City will go up 40 cents, to $2.50, for cash customers. Those with a K-TAG will only see a 10-cent increase, to $2.10.

A trip from the same Lawrence-Lecompton exit to east Topeka will go up 25 cents for all passenger vehicles, to $1.05 for K-TAG customers and $1.25 for cash customers.

“KTA continues to be fiscally strong,” Kent Olson, KTA’s director of finance, said in a news release announcing the increase. “However, a modest toll adjustment is necessary to pay for preservation and modernization projects using cash on hand rather than issuing new debt. With this adjustment, KTA will increase the discount for its more efficient electronic toll collection program.”

KTA said the additional revenue will help pay for projects identified in its recent long term needs study.

Steve Hewitt, KTA’s CEO, said the Turnpike’s per-mile toll is one of the lowest in the country, adding: “We encourage travelers to maximize their savings by using an electronic transponder like K-TAG to pay for tolls.”


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