Your Loss is BART's Gain

Transit agency cashes in on lost and found

By Sajid Farooq
|  Monday, Aug 31, 2009  |  Updated 1:22 PM PDT
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Your Loss is BART's Gain

Next time you see that BART swing, go ahead and have fun. Don't worry about what falls out of your pockets. It's going to a good cause.

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Still upset about that cell phone you lost on BART? Don't feel so bad. Your sacrifice not only helps remove some stains from your favorite seat on the train, it also keeps more than 300,000 passengers moving everyday.

That's because BART auctions off what you lose while traveling to work and then forget to pick up. The money from your orphaned items are then used towards BART's operating budget.

“We have about 60 to 70 items turned [in to lost and found] a day,” Spokeswoman Luna Salaver told the San Francisco Examiner.

And about half of those items are claimed from a lost-and-found storage room at the 12th Street Station in Oakland. But it is the other half, the orphans, that find their way to Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland. Since January, BART has made about $4,000 on auctions, according to the Examiner.

BART says it usually has about 3,000 items in storage and it holds them for 90 days before they go to the auction house.Those items can be claimed in Oakland or on line. Items that don't sell are given to charity and in the end, everyone is a winner.

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