The sight of postal carriers strolling up walkways to put mail in home mailboxes could become a thing of the past.
Faced with escalating deficits, the U.S. Postal Service is considering ditching direct-to-home mail delivery in new developments. Instead, mail would be distributed to a cluster of mailboxes located at the center of new neighborhoods. Residents would have to come and get their mail from the boxes on their own, CNN notes.
Each year, the postal service spends $30 billion in doorstep deliveries. Cluster box deliveries would slash that bill significantly. The postal service has been promoting cluster boxes to commercial clients in office parks and shopping malls.
The idea is also being promoted by California Representative Darrell Issa, a Republican, who has added language eliminating doorstep delivery to a bill before Congress.
Naturally, the idea has opponents, particularly postal unions. A representative of the National Association of Letter Carriers called the idea “crazy.”
Nor are residents in suburban communities thrilled about the prospect of cluster mail boxes.
The postal service has been exploring a variety of ideas to cut costs, including eliminating Saturday mail deliveries.
However, after consuming a $15 billion line of credit and posting a loss of $16 billion last year, the postal service continues to teeter on the edge of a financial meltdown. Sooner or later, Congress will have to find a way to rebalance the service’s finances.
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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