Dan Bewley, News On 6
UNDATED -- The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is phasing out its current Pikepass tags. Drivers should start getting a notification later this month to exchange the tag for a new Pikepass sticker.
More than 245,000 vehicles drive Oklahoma's three largest turnpikes every day. For a large majority of those drivers, the familiar "beep" of the Pikepass is going away.
"We're needing to convert to new technology. The technology we currently have is, for the most part, out of date," said Jack Damrill of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.
Right now, Pikepass holders are using a hardcase tag. But the Turnpike Authority will start asking account holders later this month to turn it in and replace it with a sticker.
"The old Allegro tags, the hardcase tags that everyone knows about now, they're not being made anymore and so we're finding it tough to refurbish the one's that we have," Damrill said.
The Turnpike Authority says the switch will help it save money. The old tags, for example cost $27 a piece; the new stickers will cost $9 each.
"We believe we'll be able to take that money and reinvest it in our system - keep our rates low for people," Damrill said.
5/20/2010 Related Story: Oklahoma Turnpike Authority To Replace PIKEPASS Boxes With Stickers
Jack Damrill says they'll begin by phasing out the older tags first, and account holders will be notified when it's time get the sticker. He says it'll work the same as the current tag and go in the same place behind the rear view mirror, but drivers will not be allowed to switch it between cars.
Damrill says you'll get one sticker for each vehicle on your account. For higher end vehicles with metallic windows, the Turnpike Authority will distribute a tag that can be mounted on a bumper.
Damrill expects the changeover to take two years and wants drivers to know it's all about trying a more efficient system.
"New technology is spreading across the nation, and we're just involved in that new technology now," said Jack Damrill of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.
If you sell your car, the sticker can be deactivated and the new owner can eventually have it turned back on.