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Lost And Found Policies And Procedures

Purpose

The purpose of the Lost and Found Policy and Procedures is to provide a secure system for the receiving, holding, and distribution of items lost by passengers who ride our buses. Contained in this policy are a general description, procedures, employee responsibilities, and disposition of lost items. This policy is designed to eliminate problems associated with being custodians of lost items.

General Description

The Duluth Transit Authority is not responsible for lost or stolen items by passengers using our system. However, the DTA does receive, on an almost daily basis, items which have been forgotten or lost by passengers. It is our intent, through specific procedures, to intake lost items, log these items, return items to rightful owners when claimed, and to distribute useable, unclaimed items to agencies who provide a network of distribution to people in need.

Intake and Listing of Lost Items

A Bus Operator will inspect his or her bus at each terminal end point for lost items. Any items found will be brought to the Dispatch Office at the conclusion of the run. Items brought to the Dispatch Office will be tagged noting the date, description of the lost item, the run number, bus number, and operator name and badge number.

If a passenger calls regarding a priority (phone, wallet, purse, etc.) item just lost, the Information Operator may request the Dispatcher to contact the Bus Operator to determine if the item has been found. If item is considered non priority, the passenger will be instructed to call the following day to see if item was turned in. The Information Operator will note the necessary information of name, phone number, destination of bus, date, bus number, location of where passenger boarded the bus, the time the bus will return to the garage, and whether the item was found on the bus. This form will be placed in the Lost and Found Log Book and used as verification when the item is later claimed.

Lost items turned into the Dispatch Office will be picked up each day by the Transportation Assistant or an Information Operator. This person will log each item as to date lost, description of item, run number, and name of operator turning the item in to the Dispatch Office. This information is entered into the Lost and Found Log Book and initialed by the Information Operator.

After the items have been logged, they are bagged and placed into the daily bins located in the Lost and Found Room. Each bag will be noted with description of item(s).

Perishable items will be bagged and marked as lost and found and placed in the refrigerator. The key for the Lost and Found Room is to be available in the Information Operator area between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., weekdays. At all other times, the key is kept in the Transportation Assistant’s desk drawer.

Attempts are to be made to contact the owners of lost items (such as wallets or purses) that are identifiable by name, address, telephone number, etc. Valuable items that have serial numbers or other numbering used for registration, warranty, or insurance verification will be noted on the Lost and found Inquiry Form. When the owner calls to claim the item, they are to be asked to identify the item by that number whenever possible. Valuable items to be claimed without serial number verification will require personal identification information before release of the item.

Items Claimed

Any item to be claimed must be identified by physical description. If the item is sufficiently described, the person claiming the item must sign and list their telephone number into the Log Book. If the signature is difficult to read, the name should be printed next to the signature. The Information Operator releasing the item will initial the Log Book next to the person’s telephone number.

A verification by identification card is to be made of the person claiming an item having an estimated value of more than $25.00. The Information Operator releasing the item will initial the Log Book next to the person’s telephone number.

Items Not Claimed

Lost items not claimed will remain in the daily bins for a period of 14 days. Items not claimed will be pulled from the bins and can be claimed by the Bus Operator or Maintenance Department employee who found it if desired. When these employees claim the item, they are to sign the Log Book. The Information Operator will initial releasing the item. Lost bikes are securely stored on site for a period of 14 days.

Items that are useable and not taken by Bus Operators or Maintenance employees are to be bagged for delivery to a social agency for distribution. Each item bagged shall be noted at such into the Log Book with the Information Operator’s signature also.

Unclaimed items of no value that are to be garbaged will be so noted in the Log Book. Again, the Information Operator is to initial this distribution method.

General

The hours for the public to claim items from Lost and Found are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Weekdays.

All items taken in through the lost and found process are to be considered the property of the DTA until claimed by the owner, given to the Bus Operator or Maintenance employee who turned the item in, or provided to an agency for distribution.

The DTA is not responsible for items lost on buses. It is the policy of the DTA to be good stewards of items taken into the lost and found system, and to be able to track each item from intake to its final distribution. Each employee whose job function is associated with the lost and found system will follow the guidelines as described in this policy.

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