Postal Service's Discontinuance of Railway Post Offices and Methods of Transporting Mail

GGD-78-97: Published: Jul 26, 1978. Publicly Released: Aug 28, 1978.

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A review of the U.S. Postal Service's use of Amtrak focused on: whether the Service's decision to terminate the Railway Post Office was reasonable and handled in accordance with procurement procedures; how surface mail is transported between Washington, D.C., and New York City; and whether the Postal Service could make greater use of Amtrak for transporting mail. The Service's decision to terminate Railway Post Office operations was economically justified because of the reduction in available rail service, the growth of the airline and trucking industries, and establishment of mail delivery standards. The termination was handled in accordance with postal procurement procedures. The Service uses both highway service and Amtrak to transport mail in the Washington-New York corridor. The rail service contracted for is comprised of space on three round trips and one one-way trip on a daily basis at an annual cost of about $836,000. Highway service is comprised of three trucks operating on a daily basis and five operating less frequently; the annual cost is approximately $575,000. The Service's use of Amtrak has increased substantially as Amtrak routes and schedules increased. Service expenditures to Amtrak increased from $1.8 million in 1972 to $10.1 million in 1977.

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