Rural post offices to stay but on limited business hours
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The U.S. Postal Service said Wednesday it will not close rural post offices to cut costs, but instead will limit their service hours.
Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe said the decision was in response to rural Americans’ desire to keep their post offices open. He said it will allow USPS to serve customers while achieving savings for the agency.
USPS estimates $500 million in savings from the plan over the next two years.
There is an estimated 31,000 post offices nationwide.
During the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2011, the USPS reported losses of $3.3 billion due to less volume of mail. Donahoe said the annual losses are projected to grow to $18.2 billion by 2015, prompting the agency to consider closing 12 percent, or 2,700, of its post offices nationwide. Savings are estimated at $200 million.
The post office has implemented a voluntary moratorium on all postal facility closings through May 15. No closings or changes to Post Office operations will occur until after that time.
The postal agency also offered Wednesday an early retirement incentive to its more than 21,000 non-executive postmasters.
USPS Chief Operating Officer Megan Brennan said that in offices, fulltime employees will be replaced with part time staff.