Senator Questions Cuts in Rural P.O. Hours

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Senate Governmental Affairs Committee chairwoman Susan Collins issued a letter to the U.S. Postal Service last week demanding to know why the USPS is cutting back on rural post office hours.


Collins, R-ME, said the postal service's "standardization program" has resulted in the closure of post offices during lunch hours and the scaling back of services in rural areas in her state. About 200 of Maine's 425 post offices have been affected, and another 99 have posted notices describing upcoming cutbacks, Collins said in her letter to Postmaster General John Potter.


Collins said she was aware of the postal service's need to cut costs but that reducing rural services was not the solution. Her letter also requested information, including the criteria that determine daily operation hours for post offices and how much the USPS expects to save.


A USPS representative said the postal service considered customer feedback in making adjustments.


The committee chaired by Collins is to hold a hearing 10 a.m. Sept. 17 on the recommendations of the presidential postal reform commission.


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