Nothing is worse than reaching into your pocket only to find that your wallet or phone is missing, especially when you just got out of a cab. As the cab driver, this scenario puts you in an awkward position, too. You may wonder what you should do with the lost item or whether you are going to be in trouble for it.
Fortunately, the Taxi and Limousine Commission does not leave you to wonder alone. The different TLC policies about lost property are in place specifically to help you to navigate this type of scenario.
When a passenger realizes that they have lost an item, the TLC recommends that they contact the driver or company first. If not, a passenger’s next step is to call 311 and provide relevant information about the ride, such as their driver’s name, plate number, the date and time of the trip, and a description of the item.
If you realize that a passenger has left an item in a car shortly after the ride ends, you should attempt to return it to them yourself.
If you cannot contact the passenger, you need to bring the item to an NYPD station immediately. The TLC has designated police stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island where you can take lost items. For the addresses of these stations, visit the TLC’s website.
Note on Rideshare
If you drive for a rideshare company, you will still need to adhere to the TLC’s policies for lost property. However, there are some additional policies in place that you will need to be aware of. Through the rideshare app, passengers typically have the means to contact you directly. If they do contact you and you are able to return the item, Uber or Lyft will charge the passenger a fifteen-dollar return fee to compensate you for your time.
Tips for Preventing Lost Property
A passenger forgetting personal items in your car isn’t your fault. Still, returning these items can take time out of your schedule that you would rather use to pick up other passengers. So, it’s worth it to find ways to keep passengers from leaving things in your car.
The TLC actually requires drivers to inspect their car’s interior and trunk after dropping passengers at the airport. This is a standard you can put in place for yourself for the rest of your shift too. Even making it a point to glance in the back seat before driving off will help you catch lost items. Also, be sure to ask passengers if they have everything before they leave.
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