This morning, I read news of how a regional bus company in Uganda, Jaguar Executive Coaches, has installed Wi-Fi connection on their fleet. In addition, “the company is making an effort to install charging systems on each and every bus,” so that passengers can keep their phones, tablets and laptops charged during trips. Top marks from me all the way. Talk of addressing the needs of customers. Keep your devices charged and connected!!
I tweeted how I think that this is awesome and an example that our bus companies here can emulate. What stops ABC Transport from doing this? What stops us from having this on our BRT buses? Lots of people spend hours stuck in traffic while commuting. Making those hours productive (or even fun) surely cannot be a bad thing. But there are those who see differently:
@Mister_Mobility The buses with wifi won't be needed here, buses not enough, people struggle to board, no need for added value. 🙁
— OO (@OluyomiOjo) July 28, 2013
No need for added value? Every extra bit of value added is always something. I belong to the school of thought that every step forward is progress. Years back when 3G licenses were being contemplated in Nigeria, there were those who maintained that 2G services were not working well enough and so there was no need for 3G. Look back and now and ask if you would have preferred that we stayed with 2G. Bad idea. We al would still be swearing as we access the internet at GPRS/EDGE speeds. As unreliable as our 3G services may be today, they are a much better experience than 2G internet.
Buses not enough? I don’t care, if the available ones let me keep my mobiles charged and let me stay connected. Roads are bad? Having access to Youtube video streaming while on those bad roads surely make for more productive (if not more tolerable) rides. I say let’s move forward with what we have now rather than wait for idealistic conditions. I vote for progress.
I give kudos to Jaguar Bus Company, Uganda. I look forward to seeing the first bus company implementing this in Nigeria. I call it innovation. ABC Transport can easily start off by implementing this on their executive coaches, but will they pick up the gauntlet or will someone else jump on the opportunity to create value?