With the Kansas Turnpike located in south-central and eastern Kansas, most of us here in the northwest quadrant of the state don’t pay much attention to it.

If we do have familiarity, chances are it’s to pay the $3 it costs to drive Interstate 70 from eastern Topeka to the state line. That portion of the interstate is the turnpike’s last stretch after coming up from Oklahoma and through Wichita.

So the announcement this week the Kansas Turnpike Authority is going to raise toll rates beginning May 1 won’t have much of an effect on our readership area. But regular visitors of Kansas City and all points east will notice the perhaps 10-percent increase once implemented.

Why bring it up? To ensure you’re aware of the K-TAG program. It’s likely you get reminded about it each time you’re inching forward to get a ticket — while K-TAG users sail on through the East Topeka toll plaza.

But did you know those customers not only experience fewer slowdowns on the turnpike, but also pay less for the privilege? KTA marketing and communications director Rachel Bell noted in a press release that since 2009, K-TAG users have received discounts of 10 percent to 20 percent. The incentive is in place to allow the authority to spend less on tollbooth operators.

Additionally, the pass is free. If you go to www.myktag.com, the entire signup process will take but a few minutes and cost you nothing. There are no gimmicks or concessions for users to be bothered by.

We encourage anybody who ventures east in their vehicle to take advantage, as the benefits only will increase as time goes by. Some of the tollroad improvements included in the $1.2 billion, 10-year plan are even more lanes for K-TAG users.

We are all about saving a few bucks while letting out-of-state travelers pay for improvements. How about you? Get your K-TAG sticker tag, portable hardcase tag or bumper-mounted external tag today. As the KTA marketing team proclaims: “Whether you travel the turnpike every day or once a year — K-TAG is now for everyone.”

plowry@dailynews.net

Editorial by Patrick Lowry