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Jon Hilkevitch

Jon Hilkevitch
Jon Hilkevitch has been the Chicago Tribune's transportation reporter since 1997. He is responsible for covering every mode of transportation, both locally and nationally, although his primary focus is transportation news affecting the Chicago metropolitan region.

One day he might write a story about an expressway project, the next day about an airplane accident, the problem of Chicago Transit Authority buses bunching up on downtown Chicago's congested streets or the prospect of privatizing the Illinois Tollway.

The common thread in his reporting is a strong consumer-oriented focus, whether the issue is flight delays at O'Hare International Airport or railroad grade-crossin...
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Jon Hilkevitch has been the Chicago Tribune's transportation reporter since 1997. He is responsible for covering every mode of transportation, both locally and nationally, although his primary focus is transportation news affecting the Chicago metropolitan region.

One day he might write a story about an expressway project, the next day about an airplane accident, the problem of Chicago Transit Authority buses bunching up on downtown Chicago's congested streets or the prospect of privatizing the Illinois Tollway.

The common thread in his reporting is a strong consumer-oriented focus, whether the issue is flight delays at O'Hare International Airport or railroad grade-crossing safety.

In 2001, a team of Tribune reporters co-led by Hilkevitch was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism for their series "Gateway to Gridlock,'' which chronicled the capacity crisis confronting the airline industry and the nation's commercial airports.

Hilkevitch, 52, also writes a weekly commuting column, called Getting Around, which allows him to interact more informally with readers and to bring their complaints about problems on Chicago-area roads and mass transit to the attention of the appropriate government agencies and, when necessary, to relentlessly prod those agencies until they do the right thing.

Hilkevitch lives in Lisle and commutes to work using Metra, the CTA and his own two feet.

His son, Nicholas, is an FAA-certified commercial pilot. He is completing his senior year at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb and plans to pursue a career in aviation.
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Top Jon Hilkevitch Articles

Displaying items 23-33
  • CTA officials discuss bus disabling

    CTA officials discuss bus disabling
    An unlocked panel door leading to a battery shut-off switch made it easy for a group of teenage criminals to disable a CTA bus, then climb aboard the darkened vehicle and attack its passengers, transit officials said Monday. “Although the...
  • RTA replaces thousands of reduced-fare cards

    RTA replaces thousands of reduced-fare cards
    The Regional Transportation Authority has been forced to replace more than 10,000 damaged or malfunctioning reduced-fare permits issued to senior citizens since the summer, transit officials said Tuesday. The situation has left thousands of seniors...
  • Amtrak able to travel to 110 mph in Indiana, Michigan

    Amtrak able to travel to 110 mph in Indiana, Michigan
    Amtrak passenger trains sped up to 110 mph for the first time Tuesday in western Michigan and northern Indiana on two routes serving Chicago, officials announced. But the railroad crossings lack safety mechanisms that will be installed on Illinois’...
  • CTA approves 'facelift' for 7 Red Line stations

    CTA approves 'facelift' for 7 Red Line stations
    Seven of the most shabby, leaky and all-around deplorable rail stations on the CTA Red Line north branch are in store for a “$57.4 million face lift’’ starting this summer and running through early next year, under a contract the CTA...
  • City announces large-scale bike rental program

    City announces large-scale bike rental program
    Transferring from a train to a bus stuck in traffic is often the most frustrating and slowest way to finish a commute, prompting Chicago officials on Wednesday to start the wheels rolling on a new "transit option." The city and a company to be chosen...
  • Absent CTA workers force riders to wait

    Absent CTA workers force riders to wait
    The odds of experiencing a bad commute on the CTA are greater on Mondays and Fridays and during the run-up to rush periods, all because of canceled buses and trains, a Tribune examination of performance data has found. The worst month for canceled runs...
  • What's driving CTA delays?

    What's driving CTA delays?
    The culprit isn’t always a horrible traffic jam when CTA customers wait 45 minutes for the next bus to arrive. Such gaps in service are often due to an individual bus run, or even two runs in a row, being cancelled. The No. 1 reason behind...
  • CTA board gets closer to buying 300 new rail cars

    CTA board gets closer to buying 300 new rail cars
    This story contains corrected material, published Oct. 18, 2011. The CTA's five-year journey to purchase new trains rounded a big curve Thursday when the transit agency's board approved a financing strategy to acquire 300 rail cars. Some minor bugs...
  • Lake Shore Drive to include emergency escape route

    Lake Shore Drive to include emergency escape route
    Median roadway construction designed to create an escape route for drivers potentially stranded on North Lake Shore Drive will begin Monday, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation. Median roadway construction designed to create an escape...
  • Helicopter wreckage moved as investigation continues

    Helicopter wreckage moved as investigation continues
    The wreckage from the fatal crash this week of an emergency medical helicopter south of Rockford is being transported to Kansas for examination, and additional witnesses to the accident will be interviewed, the chief investigator said Wednesday. The...
  • CTA expands Red Line project to battle slow zones

    CTA expands Red Line project to battle slow zones
    With service disruptions already delaying commuters this summer on the CTA Red Line north branch due to emergency facelifts on seven of the rail system’s most dilapidated stations, transit officials today expanded the project by adding $15 million...