Truckers concerned about turnpike merger

The Kansas trucking industry is concerned about Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposed merger of the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas Turnpike Authority. Tom Whitaker, executive director of the Kansas Motor Carriers Association, wrote in a message to his membership that the change “would subject the turnpike to the bureaucracy of a state agency, as opposed to the business model used by KTA, and diverts highway user fees generated through tolls to the state general fund.” The trucking industry accounts for 39 percent of turnpike revenues. Sen. Les Donovan, R-Wichita, also expressed caution. “We really need to be very careful with the changes that we make,” he said.