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Slower mail, fewer office hours and higher prices; DeJoy unveils 10-year Postal Service plan

West Seneca postal worker accused of stealing and not delivering mail, including absentee ballots
US Postal Service
Posted at 3:46 PM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 16:46:09-04

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy unveiled a 10-year strategy that would slow mail delivery standards and cut hours at some post offices.

The long-awaited strategic vision for the U.S. Postal Service is to help stabilize the struggling agency.

It includes a proposal to change the standard delivery window for first class letters and flats from three days to five days.

The plan also includes a proposal to consolidate underused post offices, hinted at a potential postage rate increase and detailed investments in new delivery vehicles, among other things.

The details come at a time of intense scrutiny for the USPS, after persistent delivery delays since DeJoy, a major GOP donor, took over the agency last summer.

During the holiday season, many people noticed late Holiday cards and gifts. The USPS reported only 71% on-time delivery for two-day mail, and 38% on-time delivery for three-day mail for the last week in December, according to the Washington Post.

DeJoy told a House panel last month he expects the agency will lose about $160 billion over the next ten years because of liabilities.

He says the 10-year plan assumes high package volumes seen during the pandemic will remain elevated, and focuses on customers who are not relying on the mail for letters or advertisements.

The postmaster general is not appointed by the president, instead, they are selected by the Postal Service's governing board and answer to them.

Some of the changes do not need further sign-off or regulation. The postmaster general can unilaterally control things like operating hours at post offices. Changes in pricing will go to the Postal Regulatory Commission for a non-binding advisory opinion.