Kansas Turnpike Authority on the Road to Interoperability with GoAnywhere MFT Solution

Industry: Transportation

The Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA) maintains 236 miles of user-fee supported roadway from the Oklahoma border to Kansas City. KTA’s mission is to move Kansas forward by operating a safe, reliable and customer-valued turnpike system in a fiscally responsible, businesslike manner. In addition to traveling the KTA roadway, many drivers (commuter and commercial), also cross multiple state lines and pay tolls for different state agencies using cash, credit and increasingly electronic transponders.

Full Speed Ahead with Managed File Transfer

Blake Butterworth is the Application Development Manager at the KTA. He oversees its development staff, as well as many of its back office systems and applications. For the past five years, since May 2014, he has made good use of the core capabilities of GoAnywhere MFT and GoAnywhere Gateway to exchange data with third parties such as banks, other tolling agencies, and various trading partners. The KTA makes extensive use of the software’s file monitoring, scheduling, automated file transfer, and IBM i system integration capabilities.

“It’s a great product. We’ve found it to be very powerful in terms of its integration and development capabilities, as well as in its ability to send, receive, and process files through an extensive set of transfer protocols,” said Butterworth. He appreciates that the software is both intuitive and easy to maintain and manage. The KTA’s IT department has always been an IBM i (AS/400, iSeries, System i) shop and Butterworth notes that GoAnywhere has been rock solid on that platform, even though it supports and can run on a variety of other platforms. “It’s highly reliable, easy to upgrade, powerful, and just an all-around excellent product,” he added.

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MFT Paves Road to File Merging and National Interoperability

While the KTA has incorporated a broad spectrum of GoAnywhere functionalities into its operations, the unique challenges of consolidating, simplifying, and sharing electronic transponder and transaction information with other tolling agencies in Oklahoma and Texas presented a business critical use case for MFT.

The goal: Provide more convenience to drivers by giving them the opportunity to consolidate tolling to a single transponder and account versus multiple ones for other state agencies or having to pay cash. In some instances, semi- or long-haul drivers were mounting multiple transponders in their cabs to electronically pay tolls in different states or with different agencies. Multiple tags and transponders have the potential to create electronic communication conflicts and incorrect or double billing, confusing and frustrating both drivers and toll agencies.

GoAnywhere’s ability to securely, reliably, and automatically transfer and manage data on a 24x7 basis has made multi-state interoperability a reality:

  • Customers can now have one electronic “tag” in their vehicle that functions seamlessly with agencies in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas and will eventually become interoperable with agencies around the country in the future. When customers drive through tolling locations, a transaction is recorded and no cash is exchanged, eliminating the need to stop and increasing convenience. Out of state tolls show up on customer home agency accounts and bills.
  • Agencies exchange tag information though a centralized hub so that agency tags are interoperable on all participating agency roadways.
  • Agencies also exchange transactions, so each agency knows when their customers drive through another agency’s lanes for proper billing.
  • Files from the different tolling agencies are sent and received via regional hubs, which facilitate communication between agencies.

The efficient file sharing process is currently connecting KTA with agencies in Oklahoma and Texas, but Butterworth notes it will eventually expand to hubs in California, Florida, and the Northeast. Agencies around the country hope the ease and seamless experience of this interoperable system for customers will be implemented across the country in the near future. According to Butterworth, “GoAnywhere essentially acts like the glue that allows KTA to put disparate systems together.”