For generations, Americans have depended on door to door mail delivery. But with the U.S. Postal Service losing billions of dollars a year, that service could be eliminated by 2022. Our Erin Connolly gets reaction to the proposal being considered by Congress.
UNITED STATES -- This could soon be a thing of the past. If House Republicans have their way, door to door mail delivery could come to an end.
Instead of front door boxes, people would pick up their mail curbside and from cluster boxes. It's something already being done at many apartment complexes and new communities.
Bill Cook, the Director of Legislation for the New York Association of Letter Carriers, said, "It will adversely impact our urban areas where it's very difficult, if not impossible, to locate centralized mailboxes. It'll hurt our senior citizens, our elderly.''
Critics also say the proposal would hurt the postal workers themselves by potentially eliminating hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Cook said, "Our letter carriers are letter carriers because they like to meet the American citizen. They like being at the front door every day.''
Lawmakers are considering this proposal as part of a plan to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service as they continue to struggle, losing $16 billion last year alone. Supporters say it could help save the cash-strapped agency $4.5 billion a year. According to the USPS, it costs them about $350 annually to drop off mail and put it at your door. It costs about half that to deliver to a cluster box.
Pranday Ramrattan, a Schenectady resident, said, "It's good for me. I like the idea one place you go and pick up the mail. It's good for me.''
Kyron Mack, a Schenectady resident, said, "It is an inconvenience based on the senior citizens. As they get older, they're frail and they don't have time or they don't really have the energy to even get to their mailbox.''
As we track this proposal to see if it's sent first class to becoming a reality, it's clear as total mail volume declines, the Postal Service needs to continue to evolve.
Local postal service officials declined to go on camera citing the proposal as a national issue. They wouldn't say whether they are for or against the legislation, but did add that they're always looking at more efficient ways to deliver the mail. Last year, the USPS had proposed ending Saturday deliveries as a cost cutting measure, but backpedaled in April after not receiving congressional approval.