From the Las Vegas Sun: Time is running out to save the U.S. Postal Service from insolvency. Unless Congress can come up with a plan in the next three weeks, the postmaster general will likely begin shutting rural stations and slashing delivery, jeopardizing the future of carriers and the letters they deliver.
In an effort to avoid that scenario, the Senate is considering a
bill this week to reform the agency’s finances and change the way the
country receives its mail. If all goes according to plan, it would push
the nation toward a model that’s been used in Southern Nevada for years
— the community mailbox.
“Nevada has a very high efficiency,” postal service spokesman David
Rupert said. “The way we deliver mail in Las Vegas — the rest of the
country could look much like that.”...
“In the older suburban communities, you find more old-fashioned
mailboxes,” said Michael Green, historian and professor at the College
of Southern Nevada. “But it’s more efficient to have one mailbox in the
The postal service officially calls them Neighborhood Delivery
Collection Box Units, the freestanding groups of aluminum lockboxes
found on most suburban streets.
That common feature in Southern Nevada neighborhoods is an anomaly
nationwide, however, where mail carriers walk their routes making
The bill being debated in the Senate would make more cities like Las
Vegas. By the end of fiscal 2015, the bill gives the postmaster general
the authority to convert almost all door deliveries to either curbside
boxes or centralized neighborhood units — changes they believe will
save money by allowing mail carriers to make more deliveries without
having to exit their vehicles.
In Las Vegas, there are 886 mail routes. In Milwaukee, there are
almost 1,200, because carriers can’t deliver to as many addresses.
(Milwaukee is smaller in area than Las Vegas.)
Fewer routes means fewer mail carriers, and fewer mail carriers
means less cost to the postal service: According to a 2011 Inspector
General’s report, the changeover could save $4.5 billion to $9.6
billion a year.
The day of door to door delivery will be almost history and instead there will be one large set of mailboxes on a corner or in the middle of the block.
There are upsides and down sides of having a one stop mailbox. On the plus side, it will save money to the post office by eliminating routes and saving money on the vehicles they drive. It will also reduce accidents postal service employees will have by walking their routes. No more biting dogs, slipping on the ice or walking in the heat of the summer. It will also get the postal employees out of walking in terrible neighborhoods. Instead, if there is trouble, all they have to do is drive away in their trucks if they feel threatened. Finally, you may also get to meet your neighbors.
On the other hand, it will make customers walk a couple hundred yards to get their mail and it will also increase the chance of mail theft. Instead of going door to door to steal mail, now thieves just have to stop at one place and steal the mail.
All, in all, it sounds like a good plan. It will save a lot of money and make the post office more efficient. The post office has to compete with Fed Ex, UPS and e-mail, which is very difficult to do. Hopefully, this change will help the Postal Service survive.
Ladies and gentlemen…
27 minutes ago