USPS Won't Shut Money-losing Post Offices
June 7, 2001
Although the U.S. Postal Service is nearing $2 billion in red ink a year, it would prefer to raise postal rates yet again, rather than shut down its revenue-losing post offices.
- Three-quarters of its 28,000 post offices lose money -- but not one of them is slated to be closed.
- In March 1998, the USPS declared a moratorium on shutting any post office -- excepting those with a postmaster vacancy and no one to fill it.
- Shutting just one small post office could save taxpayers a few thousand dollars a year, but people in the tiny communities they serve look upon their post office as a gathering place and a source of local identity.
- Political observers say Washington politicians would rather see postal rates raised before consenting to shut down a post office in their district or state.
Despite the losses, last year the USPS opened 14 new offices and expanded or renovated more than 500 others.
Source: Kathy Chen, "The Sacred Post Offices of Podunk," Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2001.
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