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Post Office considers dropping door-to-door service

Posted By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   July 24, 2013 at 5:46 PM   |   Comments

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July 24 (UPI) -- Congressman Darrell Issa has proposed out a bill that would have the U.S Postal Service phase out door-to-door delivery and shift service curbside and to neighborhood cluster boxes.

The move is an effort to cut costs by up to $4.5 billion a year for the USPS.

The proposal would affect nearly 37 million residences and businesses across the country. On Wednesday, it will go up for vote by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The Postal Service lost $15.9 billion in 2012 alone, and only earns revenue from postage sales and delivery services -- not federal funding. Mail service has decreased nearly 25 percent since 2006, said Postal Service spokeswoman Sue Brennan.

Labor-intensive door-to-door delivery costs an average $353 a year, Brennan said, while curbside delivery averages $224. Cluster boxes, the kind that have boxes for a street or set of houses, cost just $160.

"A balanced approach to saving the Postal Service means allowing USPS to adapt to America's changing use of mail,'' Issa said. "Done right, these reforms can improve the customer experience through a more efficient Postal Service."

This comes after a proposal to move to a five-day schedule that would end Saturday mail delivery.

The National Letter Carriers Association opposes both measures, as postal workers would lose jobs. They said ending street service would harm elderly and shut-ins who would have difficulty receiving mail.

Issa's proposal would allow for free hardship exemptions and door-to-door deliveries for a small fee.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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