USPS To Rely On Computerized System To Close Post Offices

The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe reports:

After years of using a confusing and laborious 21-month process panned by customers and Congress as too secretive and inconsistent, the mail agency is now relying on a computerized system that enables officials to review and determine a location’s fate in no more than five months. If plans succeed, the Postal Service could halve its infrastructure by 2020, officials said.

Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe said in a recent interview that the changes will help save millions of dollars.

“We have post offices out there that we have two customers, or three customers come in in an entire day,” Donahoe said. “Remember the Maytag repair man? He used to have the loneliest job in the world. We probably have about 5,000 postmasters that have the loneliest job in the world.”

Federal law prohibits the Postal Service from closing traditional post offices – where most mail processing occurs – for economic reasons, so Donahoe is targeting about 2,000 postal stations and branches – smaller, mostly leased sites often in skyscrapers or shopping plazas – that don’t employ letter carriers.

If an unprofitable site employs fewer than five people, is open fewer than eight hours a day and is within 15 to 20 miles of a larger location, it is likely to close.

 full story via Washington Post

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