Misplaced your chainsaw? LIRR opens new lost and found office

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- The Long Island Rail Road on Tuesday unveiled what it describes as a bigger and brighter new Lost and Found Office at Penn Station.

The new facility is focused on functionality and customer experience, in keeping with the more spacious and light-focused design of the new Penn Station.

The new office features an inviting, well-lit customer area with accessible iPads where customers can file claims while accessing a customer service agent for further assistance.

The office conforms to the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act in all areas, including a counter for those filling out inquiries that is compliant with height accessibility. The inventory storage area contains mobility clearances for employees.

The layout is configured in a square, lending itself to a more fluid workflow of moving items from intake to return. The Lost and Found has updated its security features including enhanced access control to the back office and high-ticket item areas, as well as video surveillance.

"We understand that losing a personal item can cause a great deal of anxiety for our customers, and we want to help alleviate that loss any way we can," LIRR President Philip Eng said. "We remain focused on continuing customer experience improvements, and our employees do a tremendous job helping reunite customers with their lost items. This new Lost and Found space will help us refine the overall process and help serve our customers better."

The new office occupies 1,100 square feet of space between Tracks 16 and 17 in the Exit Concourse that had been previously occupied by Hudson News. The previous Lost and Found office had been located at the Main Gate Area across from Tracks 13 and 14.

All told, the Lost and Found collects nearly 20,000 items a year with an average 55% return rate Items may be stored for as long as 36 months, pursuant to New York State law.

Some of the most common items that are received include backpacks, gloves, umbrellas and cellphones. Some of the more unusual items have included a chainsaw, a prosthetic leg, false teeth, a karaoke machine, platformed holographic sneakers, and a bust of Jesus.

As part of the organizing process, there is a dedicated receiving area, where items will be sent as they are retrieved from other LIRR properties, as well as a dedicated disposition area to for itemizing in advance of returns.

A new barcode inventory system has been streamlined to advance processing so that when items are turned in from outlying areas, the office can see it and verify it is on its way to the Lost and Found.

Customers who have lost an item on a train or other LIRR property may contact the Lost and Found online by using the Lost Property Customer Inquiry Form. Customers may also visit the LIRR Lost and Found Office in Penn Station, Monday through Friday from 7:20 a.m. to 7:20 p.m.

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