Some students don't think twice about riding on the Ball State buses that pass through campus every day — at least not until the dread sets in when a student realizes they have misplaced and potentially lost something. 

But there is no need to stress. Transportation Services has its own lost and found system for students. 

Any time a driver finds an item on the bus or an item is turned in to a driver, it is brought back to the transportation office and logged into an Excel spreadsheet, which lists the item, what day and bus it was found on and the approximate time it was found. It stays in the program for approximately 30 days or until someone inquires about an item.

If you think you lost something on a Ball State bus or in a motorpool car, call 765-285-9045.

Bruce Piner, trainer and special events operator, said the office frequently goes in and evaluates what is in the lost and found.

"Some months we don’t hardly have anything at all, some months we’ve got a whole lot of stuff. So when I say every 30 days, that varies sometimes,” Piner said. "There’s a hodgepodge of things that we find.”

After an item is turned in, the office tries to find the name of the owner to ensure the item is returned. 

For IDs and other items with identification, emails are sent when the item is found to try to get it back to the owner. Ball State IDs are destroyed after approximately 60 days, and dorm keys are passed on to a locksmith. 

Grant Winkler, a freshman advertising major, lost his car keys on a Ball State bus, but didn’t realize they were lost until a week later when he had to move his car to the Delaware County Fairgrounds for a football game. 

After a search turned up nothing, Winkler’s friend called transportation, who confirmed Honda keys on a Disney lanyard had been found.

“We drove to transportation and got my keys,” Winkler said. "It was easy but it was terrifying [because] I had to move my car or I was gonna get towed."

Piner said they don’t have an “earth-shattering” amount of items in the lost and found and their rate of returning items to the owner is low because some things, like phone cords, look similar. He recommends securing items to backpacks to lessen the chance of them falling out or getting left behind on a bus.

If a student thinks they have lost an item on a bus or motorpool car, he or she needs to call 765-285-9045, which will connect them to a dispatcher who will check if an item is in the lost and found. If one matches the description, directions will be given on how to retrieve the item. Emails are sent periodically with a list of all items that are in the lost and found. Once the items are cleared out from transportation, they are sent to the lost and found in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center.