Proposal would end door-to-door mail delivery for millions - WKRN News 2

Proposal would end door-to-door mail delivery for millions

Posted:

(WASHINGTON) — Millions of Americans would no longer get mail delivered to their door but would go to communal or curbside boxes instead, under a proposed law.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform debated Wednesday a bill to direct the U.S. Postal Service to convert 1.5 million addresses annually, 15 million over the next decade, to the less costly, but also less convenient delivery method.

“I think it’s a lousy idea,” said Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts. He was joined by some other lawmakers in saying it wouldn’t work in urban areas where there’s no place on city streets to put banks of so-called “cluster boxes” that have compartments for multiple homes. Under the proposal, waivers could be given to people with disabilities who have difficulty leaving their homes, and people who still want door delivery could pay extra for it — something Lynch derided as “a delivery tax.”

The measure falls far short of comprehensive reform most officials agree is needed to solve the postal service’s financial problems. Republican committee chairman Darrell Issa of California acknowledged that at the outset but said it “provides an interim opportunity to achieve some significant cost savings.”

Converting to communal or curbside delivery would save $2 billion annually, Issa said, quoting from estimates that door delivery costs $380 annually per address compared to $240 for curbside and $170 for centralized methods. He said less than 1 percent of all addresses nationwide would undergo a delivery change annually and that communal boxes offer a safe, locked location for packages, doing away with the need for carriers to leave packages on porches and subject to theft and bad weather.

The Postal Service reported a $1.9 billion loss for the first three months this year despite continued cost-cutting, a 2.3 percent rise in operating revenue and increased employee productivity. Package business has risen but the service struggles with inflationary cost increases and continued decline in first-class mail as people move to the Internet for letter writing and bill paying.

Postal officials have asked repeatedly for comprehensive legislation giving them more control over personnel and benefit costs and more flexibility in pricing and products. Though various legislative proposals have been advanced, Congress has not been able to agree on a bill with broad changes.

  • InternationalMore>>

  • EU threatens Russia with more sanctions

    EU threatens Russia with more sanctions

    Saturday, August 30 2014 8:30 PM EDT2014-08-31 00:30:58 GMT
    Ukrainian forces say one of their fighter jets has been shot down by a Russian missile in combat against Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.More >>
    Despite tough rhetoric decrying Russia's increasing military involvement in Ukraine, European Union leaders on Sunday stopped short of imposing new sanctions against Moscow right away.More >>
  • Syrian rebels attack peacekeepers in Golan Heights

    Syrian rebels attack peacekeepers in Golan Heights

    Saturday, August 30 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-08-31 00:10:59 GMT
    Australia's foreign minister has criticized the detention of 44 Fijian peacekeepers by Syrian rebels and is calling for their unconditional release.More >>
    Clashes erupted between al-Qaida-linked Syrian rebels and U.N. peacekeepers in the Golan Heights on Saturday after the militants surrounded their encampment, activists and officials said, as the international organization...More >>
  • Trapped miners rescued in Nicaragua; 5 remain

    Trapped miners rescued in Nicaragua; 5 remain

    Saturday, August 30 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-08-30 23:01:06 GMT
    Rescuers using long ladders tried to get food and water to freelance miners trapped in a Nicaraguan gold mine, as the effort to reach the 24 men entered its second day.More >>
    Rescue workers and trapped miners alike frantically dug away at opposite sides of rock and mud that blocked a Nicaragua gold mine, finally succeeding in freeing at least 20 men. Efforts to reach five miners still missing...More >>
Powered by WorldNow

441 Murfreesboro Road Nashville, TN 37210

Telephone: 615.369.7222
Fax: 615.369.7329
Email: news@wkrn.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Nashville, LLC. A Media General Company.