Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Friday, April 12, 2024

Gainesville residents leave all kinds of things on the bus

The blurred taillights of the bus driving away sent Jessica Chandlee into a panic.

She realized she had left her key on the bus.

Chandlee, a 22-year-old mechanical engineering fifth-year, was coming home from 101 Cantina late one Friday night. Her friends got back on the bus and searched for the key, but they couldn’t find it. The night ended with a call to an emergency locksmith at 3 a.m. to open Chandlee’s apartment.

She said she knew about the Regional Transit System’s lost and found, but she ended up buying a new key because “it was less of a hassle.”

RTS’s lost-and-found collection is at the administrative office, 100 SE 10th Ave., said Chip Skinner, RTS marketing and communications supervisor. He said there are some misconceptions about the lost and found  — for example, people show up to the downtown station instead.

For directions to the right place, people can call RTS’s phone line, listen to the prompt and press the corresponding numbers.

About 40 items are turned in to the lost and found every week, Skinner said. Of those, about two or three are bikes left at the front of the bus. If no one claims them, RTS donates them to groups like the Alachua County Fire Rescue and St. Francis Catholic High School, which both hold bike drives around the holidays.

The most interesting items are groceries, Skinner said. In the past four years there have only been two or three incidents of groceries being left on the bus. In those cases, if there are perishable items, RTS employees immediately try to find the owner, he said.

The administrative office holds an item for 30 days. After that, employees recycle or dispose of it. But Skinner said people are quick to get their items, and clerks immediately try to contact the person if there’s any identifiable information.

If it’s a student ID, the RTS employees take it to the University Police Department or the Santa Fe College Police Department. Other IDs that are unclaimed are shredded to avoid identity theft.

Skinner recommends that people mark their keys, too — for Chandlee, hers did not have any identifiable characteristics.

Skinner said there is no gender, race or residential group that tends to leave items on the bus more than others.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

“All walks of life have left things on the bus,” he said.

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.