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MBTA employee turns out to be a gem of a driver

When MBTA bus driver Mark Turner finished his shift driving the 37 bus on Tuesday, he dropped off a light, rayon backpack that left one local family “shocked” and “amazed” with the stranger’s kindness.

The backpack contained $250 earrings, meant as a birthday present for a local college student’s girlfriend. The student had lost the backpack earlier that day, and he and his family were distraught at the thought that the expensive gift would probably never be returned, according to a letter from the student’s mother to MBTA general manager Beverly Scott.

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“[Turner] had to know there was jewelry in the little box in that bag,” the mother said in a phone interview. “But he returned it anyway. Who does that?”

The letter said the student’s parents had told him to kiss the jewelry goodbye. But the student, a former Eagle Scout, “was adamant that all people are of good moral character and somebody would turn it in.”

Even if a passenger did turn it in, the mother said in the letter, she was sure the bus driver would just keep it.

After calling the MBTA lost and found department several times to no avail, she was certain her son would never see the backpack again, the letter said. But just before going out to dinner, the mother called one more time and got the good news: Turner had turned the backpack in after all.

“Integrity and professionalism are the characteristics you look for in a good public servant,” Scott said in a statement. “I’m very proud of Mr. Turner, and all of our other employees who strive to deliver the level of customer service our riders deserve.”

The mother said her son is planning to formally thank Turner. And the son said his girlfriend is excited that she will be getting her birthday present after all.

Todd Feathers can be reached at todd.feathers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ToddFeathers.
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