From hats to false teeth: The things riders leave behind on SEPTA

Mike DeNardo
November 26, 2019 - 4:00 am

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Commuters leave the darnedest things aboard SEPTA buses, trains and trolleys, but there's a chance riders can be reunited with their forgotten belongings.

One commuter says she's fortunate because she's never left a hat or gloves or wallet on SEPTA.

"But I know people from school that have left things on the train and they just disappeared into the ether," she said. 

But not always.  

SEPTA says a quarter-million items are left on transit vehicles each year.

"From school books to lunches to canes to false teeth to records," said SEPTA Assistant General Manager Kim Scott Heinle. 

Some of things that have been left behind include a mandolin, a prosthetic leg, and even a baby stroller.

"How do you leave a baby stroller on a bus? It's happened," he said. 


And he says there's a chance the lost items will be returned.

"I remember one case where a woman got off a bus and she was getting all organized for a real estate transaction. She was buying a house. She got off the bus and she left all of her documents on the bus. She went into a panic," he said. A supervisor tracked down the bus and the documents were given back.  

SEPTA maintains several lost and found locations stocked with umbrellas and coats and laptops. Heinle says SEPTA makes an effort to return IDs and wallets with identifying info. But after 30 days, unclaimed items are either donated to charity or thrown away.