Modern lost property service at the S-Bahn Berlin

    Modern lost property service at the S-Bahn Berlin

    The S-Bahn Berlin GmbH relies on Europe‘s leading lost property office Nova Find solution from RUBICON. Around 8,000 lost and found items are managed annually with the help of the software.

    In September 2018, the entire S-Bahn Berlin lost and found was put on a new footing. Not only was the new lost property office opened together with the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), but the complete software was also renewed at the same time. An organisational challenge in many respects.


    S-Bahn Berlin GmbH transports over 436 million passengers per year. The 327-kilometer network with 166 stations is served by 16 lines. The central lost property off ice records around 600 objects per month.


    • Around 8,000 objects found annually
    • > 50% return rate
    • Mobile find detection via app
    • Automatic matching of find and loss reports
    • Prefabricated notifications
    • Efficient warehouse management

    All valuables lost by the approximately 436 million passengers per year in the 16 S-Bahn lines and 166 railway stations are now managed with the web-based lost property solution Nova Find from RUBICON. This is available to S-Bahn Berlin on request in the form of a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution and consists of the following components:

    1. Public search mask

    An intuitive, barrier-free search mask is available to passengers on the S-Bahn Berlin GmbH website, where they can create their own loss reports for forgotten or lost items. Thanks to the modern design, a lost object can be easily registered on all common devices (smartphone, tablet, desktop). Categories optimized for high-speed rail operation are available in an assistant form for guided recording. The lost property is automatically compared with the existing lost property on the basis of defined characteristics. The loss notifier immediately receives a hit list weighted according to the match. In this way, a possible hit can already be offered in the course of the loss report in the sense of an efficient customer service.
    Online search mask

    Online search mask

    2. Mobile app for employees

    Capturing a lost property in the mobile app

    Capturing a lost property in the mobile app

    The smartphone app is used for the rapid recording of lost property by locomotive drivers, mobile personnel and mobile emergency services directly in the train or at the station. The find is provided with a barcode and can be tracked seamlessly as it progresses. Thus Nova Find also supports the employees on the track to quickly and easily record lost property.

    This considerably reduces the time between the discovery and the physical handover in the lost property office and the owner gets his property back faster. With personal valuables such as mobile phones, keys or purses, every minute counts.

    3. Internal System

    The employees of the central lost property office of the S-Bahn Berlin manage all lost property in the main system. As in the public search mask, individually adapted categories are available to describe the item. There is also an automatic comparison with the existing lost items. In the event of a hit, the owner is automatically notified by means of prefabricated letters. This allows many previously manual steps to be carried out more eff iciently. Automatic notifications provide an information service for the loss notifier, which can be used to actively provide customer service.

    In addition, the internal system off ers detailed warehouse management (e.g. transfers to other locations, for recycling or destruction of lost property after a defined period of time). In addition, individual evaluations of the stock in the warehouse can be generated (e.g. number of items or the compensation quota).

    The entire process is thus fully documented - from the collection of a lost property to handing it over to its owner or recycling.

    Support with Introduction and beyond

    The introduction of new software is a big and not always easy step. Especially if it is accompanied by an organizational challenge, such as the opening of a new lost property off ice. The lost property off ice employees were therefore also accompanied during the introduction of Nova Find. There was a comprehensive training for users and administrators and in the pilot operation RUBICON employees supported on site and remotely. Nova Find is operated in RUBICON‘s IS027001-certified computer centre.

    „Thanks to the good cooperation with RUBICON, the new lost property off ice software could be introduced within only 2 months“, says Jens Gerasch, station management and project manager of S-Bahn Berlin GmbH, pleased.