March 2024

She Can Do It! Celebrating METRO's Maintenance Mavens

A woman works on a tire in METRO's tire shop.


During Women's History Month, METRO is proud to spotlight the remarkable female transit workers who are essential to keeping our region moving. These women play a crucial role in ensuring residents can access work, school, and anywhere else they need to go.

Women are not just making significant contributions to the public transportation system; they are also breaking barriers and defying norms in traditionally male-dominated roles.

Dioseline Perez's journey at METRO began 17 years ago when she was hired as a bus cleaner. Today, Perez is a valued member of METRO's tire shop, where she plays a vital role in maintaining non-revenue vehicles such as maintenance trucks and police cars.

Her quiet demeanor belies her impressive physical strength. Perez maneuvered a hefty tire against a small mountain of tires to a tire-changing machine, where she effortlessly hoisted and loaded it.

"I manage rotations, balancing, repairs, and replacements for large trucks and cars. I take care of all these tasks," Perez explained.

When asked if men are ever taken aback by her abilities, she grinned and replied, "Yes."

A female METRO employee tands in a tire shop.
Making Significant Contributions: Dioseline Perez's journey at METRO began over 17 years ago when she was hired as a bus cleaner. Today, she is a valued member of METRO's tire shop.

A few miles away from where Perez works, at METRO's Midday lot near downtown, Margaret Toledo is also performing maintenance duties.

As she opens the rear panel of a METRO bus, exposing its large diesel motor and other mechanical components, she quickly checks the vehicle's oil level before returning the dipstick to its tube.

She said, "I'll thoroughly inspect these vehicles to ensure they leave the yard in safe working condition. It's common to have 20 or so buses in one shift."

Toledo added that she's had a knack for everything mechanical for as long as she can remember. At the age of 21, she took over her mother's landscaping business and later gained experience in the construction industry.

"You won't find me behind an office desk," said Toledo. “I take great pride in working with my hands and in knowing that my work directly contributes to the safety and efficiency of our public transportation system. It's a passion that drives me every day."

A woman in a yellow safety vest stands near the back of a METRO bus.
A Passion for Mechanics: METRO Utility Worker Margaret Toledo said she’s had a knack for all things mechanical for as long as she can remember.


Not only do METRO vehicles need regular maintenance, but public facilities like transit centers, parking lots, and rail platforms also need upkeep.

Meet Lina Barrantes, Krystal Nash, April Brown, and Alejandra Lozano of METRO's facilities maintenance team. From performing routine maintenance tasks to responding to unexpected repairs, these women are crucial in ensuring that facilities are well-maintained for the public.

Barrantes also embarked on her METRO journey as a bus cleaner. Having transitioned from an external job, she was initially nervous because of her limited English skills and lack of experience interacting with a diverse group of people.

But Barrantes said she remained steadfast in her commitment to exceptional daily performance, and people noticed.

With the encouragement of colleagues, most of whom were men, she was motivated to expand her responsibilities beyond cleaning and take on tasks involving electrical, plumbing, and mechanical work.

"I'm thankful for my co-workers' support over the years, and especially my supervisor," said Barrantes. "From helping me improve my English to encouraging me to believe in myself, they are a big reason I decided to get my mechanic certification and move up at METRO."

The supportive and tight-knit work environment is also why METRO Cleaner Krystal Nash loves her job.

"It's really like a family here,” Nash said. “All of us, men and women in this department, pitch in to help each other, and my sisters on the Facilities Maintenance team are some of the hardest-working people you'll find."

For Nash, this work often means driving vast distances to inspect and service public facilities throughout METRO's more than 1,300 square-mile service area. She says traveling from Kingwood to Katy to south Houston and then to METRO's Baytown Park & Ride on the east side is all in a day's work.

“I know the roads so well that my family knows that if they ever need shortcuts or backstreet directions, they don’t need Google Maps; they call me,” she laughed.

April Brown, a recently certified mechanic, pointed out the fearlessness of the women in her department when it comes to putting in hard work and getting their hands dirty. Brown specifically mentioned her colleague, Alejandra Lozano, a general maintenance landscape mechanic who routinely tackles irrigation system repairs in the field, often knee-deep in mud.

Brown says the supportive and empowering environment makes all things possible.

“Krystal helped teach me everything I know,” said Brown. “She, along with other women on this team, showed me that we can do anything we put our mind to.”

Four female METRO employees in safety vests.
We Can Do Anything We Put Our Minds To: From left: Krystal Nash, Lina Barrantes, Alejandra Lozano and April Brown.

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