You left what on a King County Metro bus?

May 3, 2018, 6:40 AM | Updated: 11:20 am

Coats line the King County Metro lost and found. (Chris Sullivan/KIRO Radio) Nobody in Seattle uses an umbrella? Maybe because they lost them all on Metro buses.  (Chris Sullivan/KIRO Radio) This industrial blower was left on a Metro bus recently.  (Chris Sullivan/KIRO Radio) A wall of lost keys found on Metro buses. (Chris Sullivan/KIRO Radio) Backpacks are left on Metro buses all the time.  (Chris Sullivan/KIRO Radio) Lose your phone? Think about visiting King County Metro's lost and found office.  (Chris Sullivan/KIRO Radio)

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.

RELATED: Attempt to reduce cut-through traffic feels ‘incomplete’

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?”

RELATED: What ends up in Safeco Field’s lost and found

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.


i-90 state patrol chains...

Chris Sullivan

Pack your chains for snow: State Patrol targeting big rigs on I-90

The State Patrol is on the prowl across I-90 and other mountain passes, making sure truck drivers are ready for the snow.

7 hours ago

Thanksgiving travel tips...

Chris Sullivan

The mystery of the closed Kirkland overpass and Thanksgiving travel tips

Mike in Edmonds asked me about what he calls "the phantom" overpass of I-405 at NE 100th Street in Kirkland, plus Thanksgiving travel tips!

8 days ago

montlake 520 finish...

Chris Sullivan

Final phase of SR 520 plan in jeopardy

We're down to the final few months of construction, as the Montlake lid should be finished early in the second quarter of next year and the reversible lane from State Route 520 to the Interstate 5 express lanes should be done by June.

12 days ago

Ramp meter...

Chris Sullivan

Why the new I-90 ramp meters didn’t turn on Tuesday morning

I have been warning drivers for years that the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) would be adding ramp meters to the I-90 connection to northbound I-5.

14 days ago

wsdot mountain snow...

Chris Sullivan

WSDOT claims it’s ready for mountain snow

Last year, WSDOT was down more than 120 people. WSDOT's Tina Werner said this year the agency is only down 25 positions.

19 days ago


Chris Sullivan

I-405 to close over the weekend for overpass demolition

For those that didn't know, going in and picking out a broken girder or two in the middle of the bridge is pretty complicated, expensive and time-consuming.

25 days ago

You left what on a King County Metro bus?