WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans for generations have come to depend on door-to-door mail delivery. It's about as American as apple pie.
But with the Postal Service facing billions of dollars in annual losses, the delivery service could be virtually phased out by 2022 under a proposal a House panel was considered today. Curbside delivery, which includes deliveries to mailboxes at the end of driveways, and cluster box delivery would replace letter carriers slipping mail into front-door boxes.
The proposal is part of broader legislation by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, designed to cut costs at the cash-strapped agency by up to $4.5 billion a year. The Postal Service had a $16 billion loss last year.
The agency has been moving toward curbside and cluster box delivery in new residential developments since the 1970s. The Postal Service in April began deciding whether to provide such delivery for people moving into newly built homes rather than letting the developers decide.
"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."