The US Postal Service has struggled to remain relevant as e-mail and private services have provided easier and quicker alternatives for consumers. Threats of cutting USPS funding have come from both sides of the political spectrum in an attempt to balance the country’s budget deficit.
Although little has been done to solve the issue thus far, comprehensive changes to the USPS may soon become a reality. As Fox News reports, a House subcommittee recently approved a proposal that would end door-to-door mail delivery for 15 million Americans. Rather than having a post officer deliver mail individually to each home, the new proposal calls for curbside, largely communal boxes. Individuals could also have the option to pay for delivery to their homes as part of the new proposal.
The new method of mail delivery could potentially save $2 billion each year for the USPS, but cause difficulties for citizens, especially those with disabilities or in urban areas.
The vote passed the committee on an 18-13 party-line vote, with Republicans in favor and Democrats against. The bill, H.R. 4670, calls for the changes to take place gradually throughout the next decade, affecting less than 1% of addresses each year.
Whether or not communal curbside boxes would help solve the USPS’s financing problem remains to be seen, but there’s no question that the department needs to address USPS budgeting issues. According to The Consumerist, the USPS lost $1.9 billion in the first three months of 2014 alone.