The United States Postal Service has gained media attention recently for the suggestion made earlier this year to do away with Saturday service. The postal service has been suffering over the past few years as snail mail has become more and more of a dead medium, causing the USPS to sinking into debt, all while not receiving any federal aid. The legislation put forth and the bills being debated on have the support of the Republican party, and the bill aiming to get rid of Saturday service passed the key house committee, and, despite opposition from the Democratic party, is on its way to the house and, possibly, the senate.
Saturday delivery isn't the only thing that is on the docket for change and elimination, however. There is now talk of completely phasing out door-to-door delivery service in favor of curbside service and/or "cluster boxes." This plan of action has been introduced by Congressman Darrell Issa, and is supported by the Postmaster General's office. Patrick Donahue of the office claims that door-to-door deliveries cost about $353 per household annually, while curbside delivery would cost about $224, and cluster boxes would run a small total of $160.
Congressman Issa is pushing the legislature by attempting to portray it not only as cheaper for the postal service, but ultimately better for constituents. In his statement, Issa was quoted as saying, “A balanced approach to saving the Postal Service means allowing USPS to adapt to America’s changing use of mail. Done right, these reforms can improve the customer experience through a more efficient Postal Service.”
The National Letter Carriers Association is not in favor of these changes, out of fear that they could hurt and/or cut jobs and, in this economy and state of job security, their worries are not unfounded. Yet, the economy is also seemingly to blame for the proposed changes, as well, considering that the postal service lost nearly $16 million last year, alone. It's a precarious state of affairs, to say the least.