Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Tuesday announced plans to slow mail delivery standards and cut hours at some post offices as part of a 10-year strategy to stabilize the struggling agency. Details of the long-awaited plan come at a time of intense scrutiny on the US Postal Service over persistent delivery delays under Dejoy, a major GOP donor who took over the agency last summer. The plan also includes a proposal to consolidate underused post offices, a potential postage rate increase, and investments in new delivery vehicles, among other things, the AP reports. Facing an expected $160 billion in losses over the next decade, DeJoy and postal executives stressed the need to cut costs and modernize the agency's operations as its workload increasingly shifts from handling letters to hauling more and more packages.
DeJoy said the biggest change would be a relaxing of the current first-class letter delivery standard of one-to-three-days to a one-to-five-day benchmark. Postal leadership said the longer timeframe would apply only to mail going to the farthest reaches of its network and that 70% of first-class mail will still be delivered within a three-day standard. Democratic Sen. Gary Peters cautioned that any reduction of delivery standards would have a big impact on customers. "While I understand Postal Service leadership’s desire to set long-term goals, I am concerned that several of the initiatives in this plan will harm service for folks across the country who rely on the Postal Service for prescription drugs, financial documents, running their small businesses, and more," he said.
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