Lost and found: UTA riders leave thousands of items

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SALT LAKE CITY -- People riding TRAX, Frontrunner and UTA buses are leaving behind an unbelievable amount of stuff.

People get distracted and leave something behind and then it's up to us to try and get it back to them.

–Gerry Carpenter, UTA

In 2010, the Utah Transit Authority found more than 13,000 lost things on its buses and trains in Salt Lake County alone. The Standard-Examiner reports another 2,400 items each were found in Utah and Weber counties.

UTA says wallets are commonly found. More unique items include dialysis kits, prosthetic limbs and guitars.

UTA Lost & Found
Salt Lake, Tooele County Routes:
24 West 100 South
SLC, Ut 84101
M-F: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
(801) 287-4664 ext 4664
Weber, Davis County Routes:
2393 Wall Ave.
Ogden, UT 84401
M-F: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
(801) 626-1207
Utah County Routes:
1145 South 750 East
Orem, UT 84097
M-F: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
(801) 227-8923

UTA spokesman Gerry Carpenter said, "One time I saw a whole can of chicken that somebody left behind, so it's just amazing the amount and variety of items we receive."

Many people riding Frontrunner bring their bicycles. UTA says in the past 30 days, it has recovered 28 bikes.

The transit authority puts many of the items to good use.

"Our goal is, if we can't return items to people, we donate them to charitable causes," Carpenter said.

Clothes get donated to homeless shelters. Even lost cell phones with discontinued service are donated.

"We donate cell phones to women's shelters. Even if there's no service on the phone you can charge 'em up and you can always use 911," Carpenter explained.

Eyeglasses often are sent to third-world countries.

"Now we have a very nice electronic system that tracks items as soon as they come in the door," Carpenter said.

But workers still ask riders to put their name and phone number on items they carry on the bus or train.

E-mail: aadams@ksl.com

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