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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

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  • New deal proposed to boost Gary/Chicago airport

    New deal proposed to boost Gary/Chicago airport
    A tentative agreement valued at up to $100 million will be announced Monday for private investors to develop and manage the long underused Gary/Chicago International Airport and incubate businesses in the surrounding area, the Tribune has learned. The...
  • No O'Hare pact yet in airline talks

    Other than a promise to keep talking, no agreement was reached during a top-level meeting today aimed at ending the stalemate between the Daley administration and the airlines over finishing the expansion of O’Hare International Airport. But no...
  • Judge approves delay in O'Hare expansion suit

    A Cook County judge today approved a five-day delay in hearing the lawsuit that United and American airlines have filed to stop the city of Chicago from borrowing about $1 billion for the expansion of O'Hare International Airport. The trial delay was...
  • Virgin America debuts at O'Hare in May

    Virgin America will begin service to O’Hare May 25 with daily nonstop flights from Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport, the airline said in a press release. Virgin is kicking off the service with a special $99...
  • Will Virgin do well at O'Hare?

    Will Virgin do well at O'Hare?
    Now we can find out if the hype is justified. Virgin America, which enjoys a cultlike status as one of the nation's hippest, friendliest and most convenient airlines, announced Thursday that it will be joining the scrum at O'Hare as of May 25. Virgin...
  • Illinois lawmakers fight cuts to rail project funds

    Illinois lawmakers said today they will fight a move by Republicans in the U.S. House to scrap funding for a key railroad improvement project designed to increase capacity and eliminate a notorious freight and passenger train bottleneck on Chicago's South...
  • Sources: City-airlines O'Hare talks near collapse

    Sources: City-airlines O'Hare talks near collapse
    Tense negotiations between the city of Chicago and United and American airlines over O'Hare expansion have almost collapsed, officials said today. The acrimony between the two sides has run so deep that, despite agreements to meet almost every day, city...
  • Google offers real-time solution to traffic congestion

    Google offers real-time solution to traffic congestion
    Searching for a fast route around traffic congestion might seem like a futile exercise in the Chicago area, but Google is giving it a shot. Google Maps Navigation on Monday introduced an update to its driving directions software that uses real-time...
  • Illinois can vie for $2.4 billion in high-speed rail cash

    Illinois and other states with high-speed passenger rail programs will be allowed to compete for $2.4 billion in federal funds that Florida turned down when its governor killed a fast-trains project between Orlando and Tampa, the U.S. Department of...
  • City, airlines compromise on O'Hare expansion

    An infusion of millions of additional dollars in federal funding and a compromise with the airlines to move forward with building only one new runway for now gave Mayor Richard Daley the breakthrough agreement he desperately sought to keep alive the...
  • Emanuel puts Claypool behind wheel of CTA

    Emanuel puts Claypool behind wheel of CTA
    Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel may have picked an outsider to run Chicago Public Schools, but he stuck with City Hall insiders to ensure the city's trains and buses run on time. New CTA President Forrest Claypool, who has known Emanuel for decades, will...