Hackney Community Transport
HDC1-11Hackney Community Transport was already working with TfL in 2001, providing Mobility Bus Services using Fiat Ducatos. From February 2001 it took over route 153 (Liverpool Street Station - Finsbury Park Station) from First Capital. To operate it HCT ordered eleven 10.5m Darts with Caetano Nimbus dual doorway bodies, and moved into London Buses' Ash Grove garage alongside East Thames Buses.
The Nimbuses were red (of course), with a yellow partial waist band and a large yellow swirl. They were numbered HDC1-11.
While preparing for the new buses, Hackney CT loaned X93FOR,
a well-travelled Caetano Nimbus demonstrator that had been recently with White Rose and Sullivan Bus.
loaned DC3A slightly shorter Nimbus, a 10.0m bus that had been with White Rose, came in November 2002 to help out on the 153 as required. This bus later went on to Centra, later Flights Hallmark and Surrey Connect.
Slimline DCS1-9Hackney had been operating the backstreets 394 (Islington - Cambridge Heath) since September 2001 using a pair of odd Renaults with Rohill bodywork. They retained the contract in 2002, with a service increase requiring more buses. Ordinary Dart SLFs were too wide for the route, but Caetano came up with a slim (2.3m, ie 7ft 8in) narrow version of the Nimbus which would fit here (and in Jersey too). Nine, to become DCS1-9, arrived in April 2003 for the extended route (Homerton Hospital - Islington).
DCS2 and 4 negotiate the back-streets of Hackney on the 394, April 2006
DCS6 near Ash Grove garage on the 394, April 2014, now all-red.
DCS6 at work on the 394, Islington, 27th April 2016.
Short-term PointerIn October 2003 an ex-Connex 10.7m Pointer (ex DPL14) was acquired for use on the 153.
Ex-Limebourne Caetano Compasses: HDC12-14In December 2005 CTPlus, as the company was now known, took on three Compasses that had originated with Limebourne (Independent Way) in 1999, that had subsequently worked for Connex after the takeover. East Thames Buses had then used them on the 42. CTPlus initially used HDC13on the 153, and later on the W13. HDC12 and HDC14 became dedicated trainers. HDC12 was sold, and HDC14, now renumbered as HDC12, was refurbished for use as a bus on the 153 and W13.
Ex-Mitcham Belle Caetano Nimbuses: HDC14-18In spring 2007 CTPlus won the contract for the W13 (Leytonstone - Woodford Wells, which required new Darts plus a double-decker for peak workings. New Darts by now were EnviroDarts, but these were decidedly popular at the time, and not available in time. So CTPlus took on five more Nimbuses, leased for four months from Dawson Rentals. These were ex-Mitcham Belle and Centra, after the collapse of the latter's Central Area operations. A couple had also been spot-hired by Docklands buses for use on the W19. Anyway, HDC14-18 worked the W13 between April and July 2007, still in red with blue skirts.
Ex-Docklands Minibus Caetano NimbusAfter HDC12 was returned to active duty after a spell as dedicated driver trainer, there was a vacancy for the post. This was filled by acquiring in April 2009 one of the Nimbuses that had been with Docklands Minibus on the 167.
Pointers: DPS1-4, DP1Between October 2010 and February 2012 CT Plus gathered a few short (8.8m or 9.2m) secondhand Pointers for use as spares, or in the case of DPS3 as a contract/hire bus, in white.
Towards the end of 2011 CT Plus acquired a second-hand Pointer that had been LDP 247 with London General. The 2003 10.1m Transbus Dart became DP1. It was put into service on the 153 in a plain red livery with restrained C-motifs.