Turnpike using self pay machines at some exits

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ANDOVER, Kan. -- The Kansas Turnpike Authority is making changes in the way drivers pay tolls at some exits. The KTA is using self pay machines. KTA first started putting in the machines in 2009. Now there are 14 of them across the state.

The machines are similar to self pay check outs at grocery stores. There is still a toll taker at the Andover exit during the day. But at night a machine takes the money. Even then a driver can get help with questions.

The KTA's Rachel Bell said, "There is a call button on each machine and a customer or traveler can actually push that button and be connected with a live person who can help either walk them through the situation or if they're having other difficulties they can address those issues."

Besides the safety of not having toll takers in remote areas at night the KTA is saving $1.5 million per year using the machines. Money that can be used in other ways to help drivers.

However, Bell said the self pay stations won't be used everywhere. "Our interstate interchanges like the south Wichita interchange really has too much traffic for these types of machines", said Bell.

The self pay stations are in addition to the turnpike's K-Tag program. K-Tag allows drivers to prepay for tolls and pass through a special toll gate using a sticker on the inside of a car's windshield.

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