|23 Nov 2021|
|Passing of friends|
Rollo was a highly regarded Public Transport Consultant and his wonderful sense of humour made him an entertaining public speaker.
After obtaining his B. Arch Degree, he worked in the Building Research division of the CSIR in Pretoria, later transferring to their Information section, where he edited their official publication Scientiae, becoming head of that division thereafter.
He left the CSIR to assume the post of GM of the Port Elizabeth Tramway Company and other Eastern and Southern Cape public transport companies. In 1971 he was elected President of the Urban Passenger Transport Association (SA).
After eleven years, he moved to Cape Town, becoming GM at Cape Tramways, the parent company. He later became MD of a specialised consultancy division called Tollgate Transport Management Services (TTMS), where he remained until his retirement. TTMS worked all over SA on design and location of bus stations, the management of large vehicle fleets, and the management of assets in transport organisations.
Innovative for its time, he introduced a two-way radio system for bus operations, and guided the installation of the first ticket-issuing machines (the Setrights). These were standardized throughout Cape Tramways and later adopted by other large bus operators in SA.
A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Transport (SA), Rollo was a member of the Cape Metropolitan Transport Advisory Board (MTAB) and was one of 6 delegates sent by MTAB to study urban transport systems in Canada, USA, UK and Germany in 1981. He was re-elected as one of 9 directors of the USA-based Buses International Association.
In the late seventies and early eighties, Rollo embarked on several, intensive study tours of overseas metropolitan transport systems. He visited more than 100 cities, studying bus, light rail and conventional train systems, as well as associated town-planning, traffic management and city pedestrianization.
He has presented technical papers and given slideshows at many conferences, universities and professional associations and has published widely in SA and overseas. He has served on technical committees of the Department of Transport, the SA Bus Operators Association, the Cape Town Chamber of Commerce & the CSIR.
In 1981 he won the top SAR Journalism Award for articles on transport – a return trip to Europe for him and his wife Liz.
Since retiring, he edited Railways Africa and wrote regularly for Truck and Bus, both regarded as world class publications on transport. His consultancy expertise assisted many bus operators to make better use of their services.
From an early age he loved model trains and their layouts. While still in Pretoria, he and his wife started a display business using working models of trains and trams in a scenic layout in store windows, attracting crowds of window gazers. On one occasion the traffic department had to control the crowd blocking the street! Their last landscaped layout was of a 9.1-metre-long miniature village with fully operational trains controlled by electric signalling. There was a working sawmill, cascading waterfall, traffic lights, & even a church with wedding group and appropriate organ music! Built on moveable boards, the layout raised money at school functions.
Rollo leaves his wife Liz, sons Mark and Jo, his brother Lance in the US, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
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