The wondrous world of Muni’s Lost and Found


Losing stuff on the bus is kinda the worst, right? It elicits that feeling of your things just vanishing into the ether. But, contra that feeling, much of what riders leave behind on Muni buses, trains, and streetcars ends up in Muni’s Lost and Found.

SF Examiner reporter and Muni Diaries Live veteran Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez took a field trip to the SFMTA’s basement recently. As he notes, many of the items we Muni riders leave behind tell a story (or two).

A bag filled with socks and baby items could be from a mother or father, [the SFMTA’s Nancy] Marquez said, and they see plenty of backpacks that may belong to those who are homeless.

“Sometimes, things smell really bad,” Marquez said. But they hang on to all items, no matter how seemingly disposable — just in case.

Among the more common items are—you guessed it—phones. SFMTA says they get about 70 lost phones, including the newest models, per month. Less common, but more urgent (for most people, anyway), are passports.

The agency holds onto unclaimed items for 60 days. Items that are claimed but not yet picked up are held for 120 days. After that, lost and found stuff typically goes to Goodwill. Cash goes back to the city’s coffers, which more or less makes sense.

Read Joe’s full story on And if anyone has the prescription Ray-Bans I left on BART in 2012, it’d be cool if you let me know.

Photo by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

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