Thousands of Post Offices Face Budget Ax

The Postal Regulatory Commission, which oversees the Postal Service, has suggested that the USPS will release a list Tuesday of 3,653 post offices it will consider shuttering, according to a number of media outlets. A message on the commission's website from Chairman Ruth Y. Goldway read, in part: "The Postal Service has indicated that it intends soon to file a request for an Advisory Opinion on a nationwide plan to review post office facilities for closure."
UPDATE, 12:30 p.m.: Around midday Tuesday, the USPS formally announced its proposal to examine about 3,700 of its 32,000 post offices for closure. The Postal Service also proposed a retail-replacement option for affected communities.

In the press release, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said: "Today, more than 35 percent of the Postal Service's retail revenue comes from expanded access locations such as grocery stores, drug stores, office supply stores, retail chains, self-service kiosks, ATMs and usps.com, open 24/7. Our customers' habits have made it clear that they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business."
In the last reported quarter, the USPS lost more than $2.2 billion, and it expects to run out of money in September -- hence, the possible closures. Most of the post offices at risk are in rural areas, which makes sense. Rural post offices are expensive relative to the number of people they serve, and rural delivery routes are longer because of the number of homes and businesses which must be served in sparsely populated areas.

The Postal Regulatory Commission has been wrestling with the painful idea of reducing universal postal service, something that has been part of American life for decades. The USPS has prided itself on its ability to get mail to all of its customers, six days a week, regardless of location or difficulty. "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" is not the Postal Service's official motto, but it might as well be in the eyes of the public

The commission has considered several ways to cut costs. One is to eliminate Saturday delivery. Another is to close some post offices.

Some measure of cost cutting at the Postal Service is almost inevitable. The federal government is unlikely to underwrite $10 billion in losses per year, particularly as Congress and the White House work to reduce the overall federal budget deficit, in many cases through austerity measures. The Postal Service is about to get smaller, and it probably should: Many of the functions it once dominated have been undermined by faxes, online data transfer and e-mail, and overnight services provided by UPS (UPS) and Fedex (FDX), among others.

The only issue is where the cuts will fall -- and how deep they'll be.



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Hot Dog Boy

Make it .50 for FC mail. Make it .15 for bulk pre-sort 3rd class. Go to 5 day a week - keeping SATURDAY for residential (UPS & FedEx charge more for Saturday, it is one small Post Office advantage) Drop Monday delivery. Close 20% of post offices. We cannot do entirely without it, it is still a lifeline for rural areas in many ways. But a modern post office makes sense. Expand the Carrier Routes, (cut carriers) right now, they are like garbage men - if they get done in 6 hours they get paid 8. Make it so that it is always a real days work.

July 27 2011 at 10:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
oldiesfanjohn

most people commenting on here have not or did not work for the USPS...so a lot of the rhetoric is misguided and reading the above article has them all `prisoners of the moment`...go to cnn`s website about the same story...its a better informative piece!...yes,they are restructuring,they are gonna bring back 2500 of the 3700 in some capacity...no one is getting fired,...you will either go where they tell you to go,volunteer to go,change crafts or retire..its not all bad!!!

July 27 2011 at 9:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lkd3712

What about the post office boxes that many people have? most of these are under-used anyway, and are often used for illegal purposes, yet thay provide a wonderful source of revefees for nue for the USPS. How about changing the fees charged and better regulation of how it is used, ie fees for over-use and late charges for not paying on time? unfortunately they can't outlaw junk mail, but maybe charge more for invasion of ppl's privacy?

July 27 2011 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sonny

What's with this ad I saw on TV last night. The postal workers union was bragging that the post office is self sufficient and not one dime comes from taxpayers...........................Who in the Hell is paying for all of those losses year after year......................Yep, you guessed it, the US taxpayer..............and the unions keep on lying and deceiving like they always have.....................Flush Them!

July 27 2011 at 3:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sonny's comment
oldiesfanjohn

the post office is self--sufficient!!!...i oughta know,i worked for them for 25 yrs....all their revenue comes from the sale of stamps,things you might see in a post office like shipping boxes,postcards etc for sale..also companies pay cheaper rates to mail out their business bulk mail ...i`m anti-management,thats what ruining the PO ,not the unions...the post office actally made a profit last year because they didnt bail the government out for the first time

July 27 2011 at 9:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paul

The last line of the piece is an exaggeration . ". . . functions it once dominated have been undermined by faxes, online data transfer and e-mail, and overnight services provided by UPS (UPS) and Fedex (FDX), among others

See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/mVg1L8

The unions have caused the USPS to loose its monopoly of mailing service. Don't blame the UPS and FDX for undermining this government bastion of inefficiency. Private enterprise will trump the service of a government entity nearly every time.

July 27 2011 at 1:17 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
nthereoff

THE DAYS OF PONY-EXPRESS ARE OVER. E-MAILING, PAYING BILLS ON LINE ARE HERE TO STAY. 5 DAYS A WEEK AND CUTTING SOME POST OFFICE MAKES SENSE.. I DO FEEL SORRY FOR ANY JOBS THAT MAY BE LOST

July 27 2011 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Frank

The new reality is that with email and electronic bills/ payments mail delivery services aren't as crucial as they were even 10 years ago. I still see a need but a diminished one and it's time the post office adjusts to reality.

July 27 2011 at 9:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Malooly

The post office is a joke. I noted with many people waiting in line that in order to keep their job, they note the line moving fast, and in order to keep it long the people behind the counters make sure to leave for no reason until the line get at least forty people waiting. In other words they conspire to slow down in order to keep their job to look busy.
At the many post offices I visited, I comment to them that their actions are making customers angry and not willing to visit the station unless its absolutely necessary. Have you ever tried to call the superintendent? Well try it and the phone will ring for twenty minutes until they finally answer. They are rude and everytime I call they seem to either have too many superintendents or push the blame on someone else.
The solution is for private industry to take over and customers will finally get the service and postage prices will fall in line. Say Good bye govenment good day.

July 27 2011 at 7:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ruralcarrier

I think they should close some of the post offices in the cities. The people in the rural areas would have to go 10 or 20 miles if they closed their post offices. Remember the last word is service in USPS. However I do agree with the comment that there are too many chiefs. They have people sitting in air conditioned offices making big money who have never delivered mail telling the carriers how they should do it. Whenever a postmaster wants to do anything they have to get permission from 3 or 4 different people which is ridiculous. Get rid of some of the higher ups so the dedicated employees who are many can do their job.

July 27 2011 at 6:04 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
duddly42

And I've had the misfortune of running into a few dueshbags from time to time, here and there and everywhere..........................

July 27 2011 at 4:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply