The U.S. Postal Service announced Monday it is eliminating 18 routes in Colorado Springs — about 4 percent of the estimated 450 mail routes in the city.
No carriers will be laid off in the route consolidation, said Ron Perry, area spokesman for the postal service. Carrier reductions will be achieved through attrition.
Similar route consolidation is taking place across the country as the Postal Service tries to bridge a $6.5 billion budget shortfall. Each mail carrier earns about $40,000 plus benefits, Perry said.
“We’re looking at things we can do to control costs,” Perry said. “We’re adjusting work hours to the workload.”
Eliminating routes also provides savings by reducing the fleet of postal service trucks and associated fuel and maintenance costs.
The Postal Service has been hit by reduced mail volume and increased competition from the Internet and other forms of technology.
Perry said every business failure causes a drop in mail volume, especially when it’s a major retailer that relied heavily on mailed advertising fliers or a bank that distributed credit card solicitations.
“We’re seeing the trickle-down effect of the economy,” he said.
Perry said the post office is urging people to be understanding if they experience changes in their delivery.
“We’re combining and adjusting routes. Delivery service is liable to change. We’re asking for patience.”