After the uproar over stopping Saturday mail delivery, Congress now considers cutting door-to-door delivery service by the U.S. Postal Service.
California U.S. Rep. Darrel Issa is proposing deeper cuts to mail service, in an effort to save up to $4.5 billion a year. According to an USA Today article by Gary Strauss, Issa also wants to change delivery service to curbside and neighborhood cluster boxes.
Wednesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee votes on the proposals. If enacted, the changes would affect around 37 million individuals and businesses.
The Postal Service spends nearly $30 billion every year on mail delivery; last year alone it lost $15.9 billion. Estimates by the Postmaster General’s office show that individual labor costs in door-to-door service averages $353 a year. Comparably, curbside delivery is $224; cluster boxes are only $160.
The USPS makes 54 million deliveries curbside and 40 million to cluster boxes and other central locations; there have also been a move toward shared deliveries in public areas like shopping malls, business centers and residential developments.
“A balanced approach to saving the Postal Service means allowing USPS to adapt to America’s changing use of mail,” Issa told reporters in a statement. “Done right, these reforms can improve the customer experience through a more efficient Postal Service.”
Issa’s proposal does include hardship exemptions and minor fees for door-to-door deliveries.