The introduction of the final trains enabled operator Transdev Wellington to add more than 1000 additional morning and evening peak seats on the Hutt Valley and Kapiti lines from October 4.
The modernisation of Wellington’s suburban fleet began in 2007 with a $NZ 25m project to refurbish 24 coaches used on Wairarapa services. In July 2007 Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) selected a consortium of Hyundai Rotem and Mitsui for a contract to supply 32 two-car EMUs to replace the remaining DM/D EMUs built in 1949-54, and subsequently exercised options for 16 additional trains.
In 2012 GWRC opted to order a further batch of 35 trains instead of refurbishing the fleet of 44 EM class emus built by Ganz Mavag, Hungary, in 1982, taking the Matangi fleet to 83 sets. The total investment in the Matangi fleet was $NZ 406m.
Since the first Matangis entered service in August 2010 ridership on the Metlink network has risen from 11 million journeys to more than 12.8 million.