Nation

Mail delivery changes considered

Door-to-door service may end

A House panel is considering the end of door-to-door mail delivery in favor of curbside and cluster box delivery.

Elaine Thompson/ASSOCIATED PRESS

A House panel is considering the end of door-to-door mail delivery in favor of curbside and cluster box delivery.

WASHINGTON — Rain, sleet, and night’s gloom may not keep postal carriers from the doors of Americans, but budget woes might.

With the Postal Service facing billions of dollars in annual losses, most door-to-door delivery service could be phased out by 2022 under a plan a House panel was considering Wednesday. Curbside delivery, which includes deliveries to mailboxes at the end of driveways, and cluster box delivery would replace letter carriers slipping mail into front-door boxes.

Advertisement

The proposal is part of broader legislation by Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The plan is designed to cut costs by up to $4.5 billion a year. The Postal Service had a $16 billion loss last year.

The agency has been moving toward curbside and cluster box delivery in new residential developments since the 1970s. The Postal Service in April began deciding whether to provide such delivery for those in newly built homes rather than allowing developers to decide.

About one in three mail customers has door-to-door delivery, Issa said. The shift would include safe and secure cluster box delivery areas, he said, especially for elderly people who receive Social Security checks and prescriptions by mail.

About 30 million residential addresses get delivery to boxes at the door or a mail slot. Another 87 million get curbside or cluster box delivery.

Representative Stephen Lynch, Democrat of South Boston, said the plan to move some 30 million residential addresses from to-the-door to curbside and cluster box service would be virtually impossible in dense urban areas such as his hometown, crowded with three-deckers.

Advertisement

‘‘You’d have to knock houses down in my neighborhood to build cluster boxes,’’ Lynch said. ‘‘This will not work.’’

Curbside delivery costs an average of $224 per year for each address, while cluster box delivery averages $160. Door-to-door delivery costs about $350 per year.

The Senate last year passed a bill that would have stopped the Postal Service from eliminating Saturday service for at least two years and required it to try two years of aggressive cost cutting instead. The House didn’t pass a bill.

Loading comments...
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.