With their matching sunglasses, cowboy boots, and white uniform shirts, Metro’s twin bus drivers aren’t that easy to tell apart. So we’ll let them introduce themselves.
“I’m Winnie Peters. I’m Jimmie Prevot.”
We caught up with Peters and Prevot when their buses crossed paths in the Texas Medical Center. The identical twin sisters have been behind the wheel for Metro for over 30 years.
Peters started first. Prevot followed a few months later.
And to this day, they still have co-workers and riders doing a double-take.
“I had a lady on the bus yesterday. She said, ‘Didn’t you used to drive the #4?” I said, ‘No ma’am, she’s still out there.’ She said, ‘Oh you’re her sister.’ I said, ‘Yes ma’am, she’s still out there.’ She said, ‘I knew there was two of you. I didn’t know but now I see there’s two of you.'”
“Our co-workers thought that we were one person who was working all the time. They were wondering how we were getting so much overtime.”
Peters and Prevot are native Houstonians. They grew up in the Fifth Ward, where they attended Wheatley High School.
Their mother insisted they stay active in church and volunteer work. And they say that’s how they learned the values they take with them on the bus.
“It helped us because we know how to treat people. You never forget who you are. We were born and raised in the projects.”
“We were poor and didn’t know it.”
And because of their background the sisters say they know about the things that bus riders deal with in their lives.
They often see the same folks day after day. They hear lots of stories about family and job issues, and struggles with money.
Peters and Prevot say a kind word can go a long way.
“We know more about what’s going on in their house than anything because they’ll tell you want went on the night before.”
“They have to talk to somebody.”
“You understand, you think you’re having problems? Sit on that bus and listen to other people tell you about their problems. And you think, wait a minute, I’m not going through nothing.”
And the job can also have its scary moments, like when a rider gets abusive and doesn’t want to pay the fare.
“You don’t want to get caught up in an argument, you don’t want to get verbally abusive to the people because it’s not worth it. What is $1.25? If you don’t have it we can’t get it. What are you going to do?”
“You know, you just have to pick and choose your fights. And you have to remember that this is not your bus, this is the city bus.”
“All you want to do is go home safe and not have to worry about watching your back.”
Peters and Prevot are 60 years old, and they’re thinking about retirement, maybe in a couple of years.
But the twins say they love driving the bus, and they may decide to stay on the road a little longer.
photo taken by: Victor Palomares