OTA sees higher revenues for month of September

Friday, October 26th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ The openings of turnpike extensions, a toll increase and more traffic led to higher revenues for the Oklahoma Transportation Authority in September.

Toll revenues increased by 21.5 percent last month compared with September 2000, Holly Lowe, acting OTA director told officials Thursday at the agency's monthly meeting. So far this year, revenues are 22.8 percent above last year's.

The Kilpatrick Turnpike was recently extended and showed a 91.2 percent increase in year-to-date revenues. The Creek Turnpike, which recently had new portions opened, showed a 56.5 percent increase.

In January, a 15 percent toll increase went into effect to pay for the toll extensions on the Creek, Kilpatrick and H.E. Bailey turnpikes.

Fred Hall, the OTA chairman, said September was ``an incredible month,'' for the agency. In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, many people are driving to their destinations instead of flying, Hall said in a story from the Tulsa World's capitol bureau.

The authority also approved a $50 million budget, $4.5 million more than was approved for last year's budget.

Part of the increase is a result of additional operating costs required for the turnpike extensions, Lowe said.

The budget approved Thursday was a preliminary budget. It could go down but not increase, Hall said.