NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Residents of the Bronx may have further to go to get to their local post office next year.
The United States Postal Service is planning to close 17 post offices in the borough alone. That’s half of the planned 34 closures in New York City altogether.
State-wide, New York is poised to lose 112 post offices. New Jersey is set to lose 50; Connecticut will lose 15. Some 3,600 post offices are expected to be shuttered across the country.
Under the plan, the USPS will close the locations and replace the services with small kiosks at local businesses like grocery stores.
The local postal union held a protest march Wednesday, reports CBS 2’s Don Dahler. In front of the already-closed Oak Point post office, protestors sent a message: no more closings.
“Keep the post office open! Keep the mail in the Bronx!” they chanted.
And while most of the demonstrators were postal workers afraid of losing their jobs, the closings have plenty of others concerned.
“The technology is not only displacing people now and jobs, but it’s even displacing our facilities,” said John Lougheed of Parkchester.
Given the recession, online bill pay and people going to the post office less frequently, the postal service says it just can’t keep up. Last year the postal service posted a net loss of more than $8 billion as nearly 80 percent of post offices don’t generate a profit. That loss is $3 million greater than the year before.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said it’s just going to have to find a way.
“The Bronx cannot afford such a considerable loss of both jobs and commercial activity, and the federal government must seriously reconsider enacting any post office closure plan that would have a serious negative impact on Bronx communities,” Diaz said.
Most of the people who are affected by the cutbacks are the ones least likely to be online — the elderly.
“Yes, yes, especially the elderly and the disabled. Yeah, so it’s definitely going to be harder,” said Jasmine Grey of Co-Op City.
“It’s going to be hectic because a lot of people depend on this place. Because they’re senior citizens, they live close, and this is the closest post office here,” added Eugene Cortez of the Cyprus section of the borough.
The USPS said it chose the thousands of locations nationwide based upon several factors.
“These locations themselves are not in convenient locations. They have limited parking or access and are not on major roads or cross streets,” said Dean Granholm, VP of Delivery and Post Office Operations.
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