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Oklahoma Toll Prices to Increase in January - KOAM TV 7

Oklahoma Toll Prices to Increase in January

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VINITA, OKLAHOMA -

As we reported last week, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority has voted to increase the cost of tolls and drivers could see a 12 percent increase the first of the year.
Getting from point A to point B will be more expensive for drivers who use the Oklahoma Turnpike
The Turnpike Authority voted to increase the cost of tolls by 17 percent.
“It will be 12 percent in 2017, a 2.5 percent increase in January 2018 and a 2.5 percent increase in July of 2019," says Jack Damrill, Director of Communications for the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.
Last year state officials presented a 4 year roads plan calling for about $900 million in bonds to improve toll roads. But it’s drivers extra cash at the toll booth that’s helping to cover the costs.
“Included in that is a new turnpike just east of Oklahoma City, an expansion of another turnpike and an expansion of the Turner Turnpike from about Bristow, Oklahoma into Tulsa, Oklahoma, one of our major roads that people travel,” says Damrill.
He says the improvements should help keep traffic flowing and some drivers say they could be worth it.
“If it goes up a quarter or something like that it’s not a big deal as long as we see some kind of result, I mean better roads or maybe a better toll system in general," says Vinita resident Loren French.
But others don't want to see more money leaving their pockets.
“I’m not happy, I think that they're fine where they are,” says driver Patty Rhoads.
The increase in price will motivate some drivers to find a new way to get to their destination.
“The increase in prices would make me avoid the toll road strictly because I wouldn't have as much money in my pocket and they don't accept debit or credit cards,” says Vinita resident Taylor French.
State officials say despite the increase, Oklahoma has some of the lowest toll costs per mile in the country.
The increase in January is contingent on a lawsuit against the Turnpike Authority for the way it sold bonds in the past. A decision on that will be made on October 11. According to the Turnpike Authority, it will move forward with the bond sales and the increase will take place January 1.

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