Post Office Unveils Plan to Cut Costs, Retain Rural Stations

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Faced with considerable consumer and political pressure to review its plan to close hundreds of the country’s smallest post offices, the US Postal Service announced today that it would propose a new plan to cut hours and services that would allow the offices to remain open. The USPS expects the plan to provide about $500 million savings once it is fully implemented in September 2014.

The plan won’t do much to curb expected USPS deficits of around $18 billion annually by 2015, but keeping the small post offices open and maintaining the local identity of small towns with unique ZIP codes will help reduce the political pressure on the agency.

The US Senate has approved a bill that would return $11 billion to the USPS that the agency overpaid to its pension accounts. The US House of Representatives is still working on a bill, including one that would consolidate post offices in more heavily populated areas rather than shutting down offices in small towns.

In its announcement the USPS said that details of its plan would be available here after 4:00 p.m. today.