Postal regulators OK shorter post office hours

Friday - 8/24/2012, 1:13pm EDT

Postal regulators agreed with a Postal Service plan to cut the window hours at 13,000 post offices.

Operating hours will be cut to six, four or even two hours per weekday at these locations. In 73 locations, hours will actually increase.

The Post Office Structure Plan — or POSTPlan — would not affect services or Saturday hours. Also, post offices in the most remote locations would remain open at least six hours a day.

"By matching retail hours to workload, the Postal Service expects to save several hundred million dollars each year," according to the report by the Postal Regulatory Commission, an independent agency that oversees USPS.

Regulators said POSTPlan was preferable over a previous USPS plan to close 3,700 post offices.

Some post offices may still close, but only after the Postal Service has surveyed the community and held meetings to make clear the impact of closing the post office. The Postal Services said it would only close a post office if there was "strong preference for discontinuance" from the community, the report said.

The Postal Service is also consolidating 230 processing plants and had offered buyouts to 21,000 full-time, career postmasters.

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