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How To Find Something You Lost on Public Transportation

Passengers lose personal items every day on city buses, trains, and taxis. Finding a lost item is a daunting task – but it can be done!


  • Step 1: File a lost property claim through a city's transit authority web site if you're unable to locate the lost item through a customer service rep. This will typically get you a reference number for tracking your claim.
  • Step 2: Bring photo identification when retrieving found items from a city transit authority's lost property unit. If the found item is a cell phone, you will also need the phone's electronic service number. Your cellular provider will have this number.
  • FACT: Over 8,000 lost items are turned in to the New York City Transit Authority each year.
  • TIP: After a taxi ride, keep the receipt. Receipts include the cab number, date and time of the cab ride, and other helpful information for locating lost property.
  • Step 3: Call the taxi company if you've lost an item inside a cab. Taxi drivers often bring lost property to a designated police precinct station if they can't find the owner.
  • TIP: When contacting the bus authority, give them the date and approximate time when the item was lost, along with the route number of the bus.
  • Step 4: Inquire at the subway customer service station booth nearest the location where you believe your item was lost on the subway.
  • Step 5: Call the city bus authority's customer relations department if you've lost an item on a city bus. Ask if the bus driver has submitted the item to a bus depot or a central lost property unit.

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