About 3,700 post office facilities on the Postal Service's list for potential closure will remain open, at least for now, the agency revealed recently.
A severe budget crunch already has prompted the agency to close some post offices. Others were on the chopping block until Congress began considering an emergency bailout.
Many members of Congress are not entirely sold on the new Postal Service plan, however. While it will avoid closing many rural facilities, it also calls for cutbacks in service at 13,000 post offices throughout the country. That will mean reduced operating hours at many post offices.
As concerned lawmakers have pointed out, they worry service to many of their constituents will be reduced. It is difficult to see how the Postal Service can save the $500 million it hopes without cutting service.
Postal Service officials have said they have no alternative but to find ways to reduce spending dramatically. Without cuts, the agency will face a deficit of more than $18 billion by 2015, analysts predict.
Despite flashy marketing of some new services, the Postal Service continues to operate on a model that dates back two centuries. Until and unless the agency modernizes - as most businesses have had to do - its financial woes will not go away.