You left what on a King County Metro bus?
As you would imagine, keys and wallets are near the top of the list of the most common items left behind by King County Metro bus passengers. But Metro’s lost and found office is full of much more than that.
There are racks of clothes and backpacks and luggage. And despite what every Seattle native tells you about not using an umbrella, the storage facility is full of them.
Phones are a common item left behind. More than 4,800 were left behind on buses last year. On Monday, there was a table of newly collected phones, from the latest models to flip phones.
What’s the first thing you do when you lose your phone? You call it. That’s why Metro turns them all off so the office won’t be buried in ringtones.
Lost and Found manager Terrie Kennedy said they check for the phone numbers or other identifying marks and keep them for 14 days. After that, they’re gone.
“We donate them to the Lions Club, and they go through a process of refurbishing them,” she said. “Before we give them out, we take out the sim cards and any personal information and wipe them clean.”
Fourteen days. That’s all you get to collect any item left behind. It’s only 10 days for bikes because Metro doesn’t have the room to store them.
Last year, more than 1,400 bikes were left on Metro buses. How do you forget your bike? Kennedy said it’s easier than you think.
“They (riders) go out the back door,” she said. “They get on the front. They go sit down, have a conversation, and they go out the back door. They forget the bike.”
Bikes are donated just like everything else that isn’t collected.
You might be surprised by how much stuff Metro donates. Less than 20 percent of lost items were claimed last year, out of nearly 45,000 lost items.
Kennedy says there are some pretty unexpected items coming through her doors.
“How do you leave your wheelchair or your walker,” Kennedy said as she shook her head. “You must have walked on with it, right?”
One woman left her dentures on the bus.
There was also an industrial blower in the office, dozens of travel mugs and electronics, and cash. Last year, more than $16,000 was left-behind on buses.
Workers will check items for names and addresses, and they will send you a postcard alerting you that they have your item. You can file a claim online or you can check for an item when the office is open. Be sure to give it a day for the item to make it to the office.