If you haven’t yet visited Metro’s new Lost and Found location across from the Gold Line Heritage Square Station it probably means you haven’t recently lost anything. Well done!
But in the off-chance that you ever drop your wallet or leave your phone — or even your bike — on a Metro bus or train, know that all may not be lost. Though not all lost items are recovered, Metro’s Lost and Found service is there to increase your chances of being reunited with your belongings.
Last year, Metro moved the Lost and Found from the corner Wilshire and La Brea to a larger and more convenient location near the Metro Gold Line. A recent visit there made it clear no item is too small, too large or too obscure to be recovered.
The team at the Heritage Square location receives tens of thousands of items annually. Of those, a little more than 20 percent are claimed. Everyday possessions like keys, wallets, purses and phones are some of the most commonly received and claimed items.
Larger items that turn up are skate boards, surfboards, walkers, crutches and wheel chairs. Some of the more unique items returned to the Lost and Found include a prosthetic leg, a prosthetic finger and dentures (all went unclaimed).
Bicycles are lost more frequently than you might think. On average, the Lost and Found receives about 50 bikes a week. That amount of intake requires more space and a separate facility, though the recovery process for a lost bike is similar to other lost items. A survey of riders who successful claimed their bikes revealed that over 70 percent of respondents simply forgot to take them from the bike racks on the front of buses.
Once an item is recovered — typically by a bus or train operator at the end of their shift — it takes about three business days for it to be delivered from the bus or rail division (where your bus or train is stored and maintained) until it’s received and logged at the Heritage Square location. It’s because of this Metro recommends waiting at least three business days before visiting the Lost and Found to make a claim. Recovered items are held for 90 days before they are sent to auction.
Most items are claimed within the first week they’re lost. That said, a state bill is currently pending that will reduce the holding time to 30 days and allow unclaimed items to be donated to charitable organizations.
If you lose an item on a Metro bus or train, make sure to immediately write down or make note of all of the information that will help the Lost and Found team identify your item. Good info to have about your lost item:
- Bus route number or train line
- Bus or train car number
- Station name and date
- Date, time of day and direction of travel
You’ll want to describe your lost item in as much detail as possible. An online form is available for you to log this information and receive an inquiry number, but ultimately to claim a lost item you will need to physically visit the Lost and Found location. It’s open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with an hour closure for lunch between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Once there, a member of the Lost and Found team will use the information you provide to find a match in the system.
It goes without saying you’ll never need the Lost and Found if you always make sure you take your belongings with you when you exit a bus or train. But since we’re all human, it’s good to know it’s there if you need it.
The Metro Lost and Found is located at 3571 Pasadena Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90031. From Union Station, take the northbound Gold Line (toward Pasadena) three stops to Heritage Square Station. More information can be found here.
Categories: Policy & Funding
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If UPS can get a package to me next day, having to wait 3 days seems a bit excessive. If Metro is going to be inefficient with filing lost items, shouldn’t we get more time than 30 days? I realize there are space constraints, but why did you move if you didn’t intend to hold lost items for 90 days?
Why Pasadena though? If you lose something on the 232, that would be awful to have to trek all the way across town(s). Metro seemed to have a great opportunity to place this at Wilshire/Vermont; which is central, and accessible from most anywhere.
Better not lose my stuff…
I have been reading The Source for a long time and do not remember an article about Metro’s Lost and Found. This is a very informative article. Please repeat it on a monthly basis.