The MBTA said Tuesday afternoon that Transit Police have identified a Watertown man as the owner of $1,100 in cash that was left behind on the Route 73 bus traveling from Cambridge to Belmont Monday.
Transit Police worked with the Cambridge Savings Bank to identify the owner, whose name was not immediately available, said MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo.
The cash was found in an envelope by a passenger Monday around 4:45 p.m. as the 73 bus, which is a trackless trolley, traveled from Harvard Square in Cambridge to Cushing Square in Belmont, according to the MBTA.
Bus driver Kevin White said the passenger handed him the bank envelope and said she had found it on a seat in the bus.
White, 48, of Jamaica Plain, said he was busy driving and did not look in the envelope immediately. He said he followed protocol and notified the control center, which instructed him to hand off the envelope to a supervisor in Waverly Square in Belmont.
When he reached Waverly Square, White said he looked in the envelope to get an inventory of what was inside and saw all the money. He said there was no temptation to take any of it.
“I look at it this way: Somebody needed it for some reason,” said White, who has been driving for the MBTA for just over two years. “It could be their paycheck or their rent money. It’s not my money to decide that.”
White said the bus was about three quarters of the way full at the time the cash was found, and he did not have any idea who left it behind. He said people sometimes forget things when they rush to get off the bus and that may have been the case Monday. He said the only other significant item he can remember being left behind on his bus before was a cell phone.
Pesaturo said the money was turned over to Transit Police who worked with Cambridge Savings Bank to identify the owner Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday morning the MBTA had issued a press release trying to get the word out that a significant amount of cash had been left on the bus. The exact amount of money was not released at first because police wanted only the rightful owner to know how much cash was left behind, Pesaturo said.