Mail delivery to the doorstep may be a thing of the past as lawmakers consider ways to cut costs to save the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service, which lost $16 billion in 2012.
According to CNN Money, the agency is working toward a more “centralized delivery” approach in which residents pick up their mail from a mailbox at the curb or at clusters of mailboxes within their neighborhoods.
The practice already is being adopted for new houses and developments, and some House Republicans want it rolled out universally.
“A balanced approach to saving the Postal Service means allowing USPS to adapt to America’s changing use of mail,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican leading the House effort to save the Postal Service.
Doing away with doorstep delivery has become a central part of Issa’s proposal to save money. Ending door-to-door deliveries would save $4.5 billion a year from the $30 billion the mail service currently spends on delivery.
How? Right now, 35 million residences and businesses get mail delivered to their doorstep. CNN reports that it costs $353 per stop for a delivery in most American cities, taking into account such things as salaries and cost of transport.
Curbside-mailbox delivery costs $224, and cluster boxes cost $160, according to a report from the Postal Service Office of Inspector General cited by CNN.
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