Metro's board members have been criticized for not riding the system they govern, but at least one board member rides the system enough to suffer bad luck just like regular commuters.

Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille lost his iPhone on the system earlier this month. And two years ago, he slipped on a wet platform at Braddock Road when boarding a train and blew out his knee.

But he said he's still riding the system he has helped govern since 2000.

"It's an opportunity when you ride to use the system to observe the good, bad and ugly," he said.

In this latest case of commuter woes, the mayor said he lost the phone due to what he called his own negligence when he was riding to an evening work event. He was using two of his three cellphones at the same time: his personal phone and his city-issued iPhone. He said he must have put his sport coat on top of the work phone, instead of putting it back on his belt, then forgot it.

Euille realized what happened later that evening when he went to check his phone and it wasn't there. He tried calling the number and then texting it. But it had been turned off.

He hoped that meant someone had found it, would see it belonged to the mayor of Alexandria, then return it.

"I would like to think it was a good person, a kind person," he said.

But he never got back the phone. Instead, the city disabled it and canceled the contract, setting him up with a new phone.

However, Euille ran into trouble when he tried to report the lost phone to Metro using the system's online lost-and-found form.

He said the form kept saying he entered the incident incorrectly. He tried it four or five times, filling it out anew each time, yet he kept getting a denied message. "I just got frustrated and deleted it all," he said.

He said he plans to follow up with Metro staff this week to "find out if it's just me or a kink in the system."