But you might be surprised to learn that only a small amount are found…

Last week we did some research. We wanted to find out how many of you had lost something on public transport so we ran a LinkedIn poll. More importantly, we wanted to see how many of you managed to get an item back.

Our results were interesting, but not particularly shocking. We already knew that the UK public transport sector needs to assess its lost property process.

Firstly, let’s set the scene

  • In 2018/19 there were 8.3 billion journeys made on public transport in the UK.
  • The average person made 95 journeys using taxi, rail, bus and other public modes, during just one year (2018).
  • We depend on public transport for work and play: 57% of all rail trips made are for commuting or business purposes.

(Source: Transport Statistics Great Britain: 2019)

It’s clear to see that the UK relies upon, and loves, public transport.
With so many people depending on the bus, train, tram, tube and more for millions of journeys, it’s obvious that items will be left behind frequently. 

It’s human nature to lose things from time to time. But how much lost property are we talking about here?

Lost property lost on uk public transport

What did the results say?

Unsurprisingly, our research indicates a lot of lost property is left behind on UK public transport. Here are the results:

Whilst a lucky 18% of you reported never losing anything, a whopping 82% of passengers said they had left something behind on public transport.


of passengers are 'losers'

Of these ‘losers’, over 60% reported they unfortunately did not get their item back. It was lost forever.


never got their item back

So what does that tell us about lost property on public transport?

These are obviously disappointing figures. They clearly indicate that transport operators are not offering an effective lost property process.

Passengers are not provided with a clear process when they are trying to locate their lost item and are often left frustrated and confused.

Transport operators are legally obliged to handle lost property ‘reasonably’. But in order to delight their passengers, they need to go the extra mile. Bus and train companies must provide a reliable solution for when an item is lost.

What can transport operators do to improve their lost property process?

Transport companies need to utilise technology to make this process automated and seamless. Using a lost and found software such as NotLost is the perfect way to tick all the boxes. 

We’re proud to work with Oxford Bus Company to offer a first-class service to their passengers.

Before implementing our lost property software, lost property enquiries were the biggest reason for people telephoning the customer service team. Now, passengers can find a quick and simple online lost property form and overall are getting more lost items back.

Plus, NotLost has also helped significantly improve internal operational efficiency, enabling staff to spend more time on other important tasks. It’s been a win-win situation for both passengers and staff. 

See our full journey with Oxford Bus Company here

Lost and found on bus companies

In conclusion

The lost property situation on public transport is pretty bleak. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We have a solution.

Interested in learning more about how transport could use the NotLost software? Find out more here on our dedicated transport page. 

Request a demo to see how our free lost property software could work for you here. One of our dedicated sales team will be more than happy to show you around. Or give us a call, we’d love to chat.

Plus, follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up to date with all things lost property!