The first system of public transport for the City of Worcester was the establishment of a Horse-Tramway Service in 1881. It covered a distance of three-and-half miles on two routes. (1). From the Portobello Inn, Bransford Road, to the Vine Inn, Ombersley Road. (2). From the Cross to Shrub Hill Station. The Company had six horse-drawn cars, of an antiquated type, single horse affairs, with no outside seats. There were no conductors, and the driver looked after the pence, which was dropped into a slit in a box. The Company was not efficient, and it is doubtful whether all the cash from the passengers was paid in. Until 1894, the Company was a in a desperate financial situation, and for several years was in liquidation.
In 1894, Mr. R. R. Fairbairne became manager of the Worcester Tramway Company. He was a determined, energetic man who improved the financial position, and later became Member of Parliament for the City of Worcester. He introduced two-horse vehicles with 'garden-type' seats, and with conductors as well as drivers; and the service was extended to Kempsey, Ombersley, Callow End, and Powick Asylum. In 1889, on the town mileage of four miles, the Company made a weekly mileage of 1,900 miles, and carried 10,000 passengers.