Subiaco Tram needs volunteer drivers and hostesses, Could this be for you?

Ruby was a hit during the Christmas Frolics in Subi last year, helped by hostess Judith (front left) and longtime driver Sal Bolich © See Subiaco

Ruby the Tram is a free hop on-hop off community service that travels around Subiaco, Shenton Park and up to Kings Park on an hourly timetable from the Subiaco Train Station. 

She has become a much-loved icon since she went on the road in 2018. 

Owner, Niki Peinke from The Property Exchange, says it is a very popular outing for adults and children.

“Our voluntary drivers and hostesses welcome everyone aboard and point out the things of interest, old and new, as it makes its way to Kings Park. You can spend an hour or two enjoying the botanical gardens then hop back onto Ruby and head back into Subi. 

“Our volunteers enjoy it as much as the passengers.”

It came about because Niki believed Subiaco was missing something of its early character.

“The suburb was well-known in the early days for the tram service from the city and I felt this was it. I found and purchased the tram, built in the early 80’s for the America’s Cup.

“All the original materials were used to fabricate her and we have the old bell so she is authentic, however she is modern, operating on petrol and tyres,” says Niki.  

At the turn of 1900, trams were introduced to Subiaco. Travelling along Hay Street and turning left onto Rokeby Road where the Subiaco Hotel is located, the trams transported the city slickers into the industrial area that was Subiaco. (ref. Hiddlestone Electrics ‘100 Not Out’ history November 2020) Subiaco trams of old: running from the city through Subiaco to the Nedlands baths. Sadly, these tram services ceased in 1958. However, the hop-on hop-off Subiaco ‘tram’ service follows some of the original route, such as down Hay Street and Rokeby Road. Sources: Identity Prized: A History of Subiaco (1985), Ken Spillman and Talk about Subi newsletter (2003), City of Subiaco

“We have constantly maintained and refurbished Ruby and cover the annual costs through advertising and sponsorship. Our volunteers are vital to offering it as a free service.”  

The service currently operates from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 3pm on weekdays and 10am to 1pm on Saturday, but will increase to 9am to 4pm when more volunteer drivers come onto the roster.

If you would like to join the team, you can contact Niki on 0411 428 117.

Destination WA filmed a segment, which went to air on Channel 9 a few weeks ago. You can see Ruby in action by clicking on the link: