U.S. drops plan to close rural post offices

It is considered to be a victory for the rural communities who opposed strongly the shutdown of more than 3,600 small post offices which were running in losses. Instead of closing them, the U.S postal department has considered to alter the working hours of these post offices in rural areas. The cut down time will be between 2 to 6 hours depending upon the traffic.

“We’ve listened to our customers in rural America and we’ve heard them loud and clear – they want to keep their post offices open,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “There’s no plan for closings at this point.”

Compared to $200 million savings from the original plan, the new plan will save around $500 million annually. But the lawmakers cautioned that though this is a good move, the Congress should not move itself away from passing a strong bill to cut down USPS’s losses of billions of dollars.

The postal services, which mainly survive on selling of stamps and other products, are falling into deep losses as most of the America has started communicating online. With the new policy, the communities will have options like having all the post offices in their community open but for few hours or close one of them and keep the other open full time. They may also have an option of setting up post offices in libraries or big stores like Walmart or Office depot.

The agency said that its new policy will save more money as the full time post master will be replaced by part time post masters. It is also thinking of buying out the 13,000 post masters who are nearing retirement.

Hesitancy by the rural law makers in the house helps to stall a new bill which will put an immediate end to Saturday delivery and far more aggressive cuts in the future. The postal service is now seeking regulatory approval for new rural postal policy.

In an investigation it has come to be known that most of the post offices which faced the closure were located in the areas which has limited or no wired broadband. The postal service is yet to make an announcement regarding closing of more than 200 mail forwarding services. That is expected to be announced next week.

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