Facebook, Chase Bank offer free bike taxi rides

Facebook and Chase Bank are offering free bike-taxi rides for students to promote their joint credit card.

Blue three-wheeled bicycle carts parked outside the Marvin Center are offering rides from C Street to Pennsylvania Avenue and 17th Street to 25th Street from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday this week. Reading “log on to Facebook.com/PLUS1 to play” across the front, the covered carts will also be in service Monday through Thursday next week before the end of the promotion.

“We’ve given lots of rides, and students seem to love it because it is definitely beneficial to them,” said Sarah Dillon, an employee of Event Pro Strategies, the company operating the bike-taxis. “Some people have even just had us ride them around … you know, because they were having a bad day.”

Dillon said the most popular destination has been Thurston Hall, and she generally has enjoyed student interaction.

“As long as they are not on their iPods, they’re particularly friendly,” she said.

A North Carolina-based promotion company, Event Pro Strategies is promoting the same credit card in Boston and will be at American University in three weeks.

“It would not make me sign up for the credit card, but I could definitely use a ride to class in that thing,” sophomore Meghan Pyle said about the promotion.

Graduate student Lina Musayev doesn’t understand why more students aren’t using the temporary service.

“It’s free and it might rain,” Musayev said Tuesday afternoon. “They are so convenient that we should have them around all the time.”

With the help of Noise Marketing Group, a student promotion agency, Facebook and Chase Bank teamed up to market a credit card geared toward college students nationwide. As of Tuesday afternoon, over 20,000 students had joined the credit card’s group on Facebook.

“The program is crafted by students with the benefit of fellow students in mind,” said Noah Kerner, CEO and co-founder of Noise.

As part of the promotion, the companies are offering a trip with an undisclosed celebrity for participants in the Facebook group.

After registering for the card on Facebook, students earn points from the Plus 1 Facebook group that can be used toward future purchases. The points are not only earned through spending money but participating in contests offered through the Plus 1 group and trading with other users.

Students can enter into a contest for a vacation if they correctly guess the celebrity from a Chase credit card statement excerpt, which includes purchases for a pink baby bib and a black fedora.

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