Sep 8, 2022 - News

Philadelphia's mail problems under scrutiny at congressional hearing

A United States Postal Service truck drives in downtown Philadelphia.
A U.S. Postal Service truck in Philadelphia on March 3, 2022. Photo: Matt Rourke/AP

Philly's mail delivery is so bad, even Congress is talking about it.

Driving the news: Washington lawmakers came to town Wednesday to host a Congressional hearing at Temple University, where they criticized the U.S. Postal Service for a recent rise in mail theft and crime.

  • Much of the attention was on Philly, which has seen "dramatic increases" in complaints of lost or stolen mail, undelivered packages, and post office closures over the past two years, said Rep. Dwight Evans.

Of note: Mail that should have arrived within three to five days was delivered within that window 61.9% of the time in the third quarter of fiscal year 2021.

Why it matters: Even in our super-digital age, who among us doesn’t still rely on the mail?

State of play: The hearing comes as postmaster general Louis DeJoy moves to consolidate more than 200 postal facilities in more than a dozen states, including Pennsylvania, starting as early as this month.

  • That and the midterm elections are driving the urgency for congressional leaders including Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey to push for these issues to be resolved.

Zoom in: Pennsylvania is among the worst in the nation for stolen checks, according to data shared with Bloomberg.

What they're saying: Casey called the Germantown post office off Greene Street, where residents have protested over poor service, an example of "how egregious and long-term many of the problems with the Postal Service are in Pennsylvania."

  • Evans said local USPS officials — including at the Germantown office — have failed to adequately respond when he and residents have raised concerns.
  • "Incidents like this will only worsen Americans' faith in the Postal Service and in the government's ability to do what's needed to protect them," Evans said.

💭 Alexa's thought bubble: Just last weekend, a friend texted me asking why I hadn't responded to their wedding invite. The deadline had passed, and I had no idea! Neither the save-the-date nor the invitation had been delivered, despite my friend having the correct address.

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