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Smart commuting

Smart commuting

I swiped my Tap & Go card on an electronic device installed near the door. As the transaction was effected, the machine produced a high-pitched beep and my new account balance was displayed on its little screen.

As we left Kimironko bus terminal, I asked the driver what happened to his conductor when the e-payment system was rolled out in 2015. He said his former fare collector is now a Tap & Go agent, selling and recharging cards used by passengers. The new system took away his old job and gave him a new one.

Technology is phasing out some jobs and creating others. Last year, a study conducted by Gartner, a multinational research and advisory company, predicted the loss of 1.8 million jobs worldwide by 2020. The same study stated that 2.3 million new jobs would be created within the same time frame.

I wanted to know if the driver envisions the day safe-driving buses will be unveiled. "I have seen drones delivering packages in this country. I won’t be surprised to see driverless vehicles." He responded.

The man behind the wheel hopes his transition will be as smooth as his former conductor’s when that day comes. However, he admits not being tech-savvy enough to keep up with the pace of technological advancements. Lagging behind concerns him.

The job market is evolving and innovation has given birth to artificial intelligence. A segment of the global workforce is threatened, but this evolution is warmly welcome by those who are prepared.

When green energy kills the coal mining industry, for example, prepared coal miners will have access to brighter job prospects.

On our way to Downtown bus station, I downloaded files and streamed YouTube videos seamlessly, thanks to the fast 4G internet offered on board as part of the Smart Kigali initiative. In the beginning, internet connectivity was hampered by disagreements between service providers and transport companies, prompting the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) to step in and resolve their issues.

The Tap & Go cashless bus fare payment system, powered by the AC Group, is credited for boosting revenue and improving service delivery. It also eliminated some jobs in the public transport sector and created more sophisticated ones.

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