Raising the price of stamps by 3 cents isn’t going to cut it if you’re trying to stop the huge losses at the U.S. Postal Service. That’s why Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe is looking at more dramatic ways to cut costs but not everyone is buying into it.
“Eventually we will go to five-day mail delivery,” said Donahoe. He says by cutting back on one day of delivery, the Postal Service can save billions of dollars, but that’s not all.
“We’re looking at changes with mailboxes,” said Donahoe, “some more flexibility in terms of what we do with centralized boxes.”
The idea is to stop door-to-door delivery and instead go to “cluster boxes” where 10 to 20 different boxes can be placed within a neighborhood, making it faster and easier for delivery.
But San Diego congresswoman Susan Davis doesn’t like the idea, “Man of our older, more dense communities would be plagued in their eyes by these cluster boxes,” said Davis. “And they would really lose that vital service.”
But 73-year-old Jim Metts said he’s not opposed to the change in his San Diego neighborhood, “If it would save the post office, I’d be all for it."
Today the Post Service has 300,000 fewer employees than 10 years ago. During that time first-class mail has dropped nearly 60 percent. Patrick Donahoe said changes are needed throughout the system.
“We deliver packages now on Sunday,” said Donahoe. “We’d like to get into things like beer and wine delivery.” But they may not happen soon as it goes against various state and federal laws. Some changes that are already in the works include closer tracking and text messaging to customers.
As for Sunday delivery and cluster boxes, it is very much on the drawing board but it won’t happen without a fight. Clearly change can be hard to deliver.