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Drink Beer and Help Save the Lincoln Bus With the 11 on 11 Passport Program

The 11 on 11 Beer Explorers Passport.

On June 20, thanks to tireless lobbying efforts by transit advocates led by 47th Ward alderman Ameya Pawar, the restored #11 Lincoln Avenue bus route returned as a pilot program. The new service includes the stretch of Lincoln between the Brown Line’s Western station and the Fullerton ‘L’ stop in Lincoln Park.

Community members are stoked about the new service, but it’s not a sure thing that the CTA will continue running buses on this segment of Lincoln after the six-month test period is over. The agency set a target of rides per day during the pilot, and buses are only running between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays, every 16 to 22 minutes.

Local chambers of commerce have teamed up with the Active Transportation Alliance to organize a clever promotion to help ensure the #11 gets sufficient ridership while promoting local businesses. During the month of August you can win prizes by visiting five or more drinking and dining establishments along Lincoln as part of the 11 on 11 Beer Explorer Passport program.

When you grab a brew or a bite at any of the 11 participating breweries, taverns and bars, from August 1-31 and you’ll be given a stamp for a passport, which you can download here. Collect five of them and you’ll be registered to win prizes ranging from $25 Lakeview Neighborhood gift cards to a $100 gift card to Bistro Campagne to a Giro Trinity bike helmet to a wooden toy CTA bus.

The passport must contain five different stamps and be submitted by September 9 to enter. Winners will be notified by September 16.

The idea for the Beer Explorer Passport came out a meeting Pawar hosted with stakeholders along the line, according to Lakeview Chamber of Commerce director Lee Crandell. “He brought on some of the other local chambers on board to start developing a promotion,” Crandell said.

A #11 bus by the Western Brown Line stop in Lincoln Square. Photo: John Greenfield

These also include the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, the Northcenter Chamber of Commerce, and the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce. “We hope the result will be increased awareness of businesses on Lincoln, as well as increased bus ridership,” Crandell said.

“Considering it’s only a six-month pilot and how long the bus has been gone, it’s really important that people are aware that the bus is back,” Crandell added. “So the more we can do to get the word out and encourage people to explore Lincoln Avenue, the better.”

Here’s a list of the participating businesses, listed south to north:

    • Burnt City Brewing, 2747 N Lincoln,
    • Delilah’s, 2771 N Lincoln,
    • Beermiscuous, 2812 N Lincoln,
    • The Green Lady, 3328 N Lincoln,
    • Bitter Pops, 3345 N Lincoln,
    • Bottles and Cans, 4109 N Lincoln,
    • ROCKS Northcenter, 4138 N Lincoln,
    • Half Acre Beer Company, 4257 N Lincoln,
    • Gideon Welles, 4500 N Lincoln,
    • The Grafton Pub, 4530 N Lincoln,
    • MASH Craft Kitchen + Patio, 4535 N Lincoln,

Another upcoming opportunity for drinkin’ on Lincoln while supporting public transportation is the “For the Love of the #11” bus-powered pub crawl on Thursday, August 11, meeting at the Irish Bistro, 3905 North Lincoln at 5 p.m. The transit-friendly tour will also visit the Northdown Cafe & Taproom, and Delilah's.

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