For the first time in years, the U.S. Postal Service has money to invest in its future. Postal officials have said they expect to spend about $2 billion on capital projects in 2015.

There’s a good chance most of that investment will go toward revamping the 190,000-vehicle fleet – one of the Postal Service’s most pressing needs. Our audit work found that the Postal Service’s vehicle fleet is adequate for delivery needs only until about 2017.

Another area overdue for investment is facility maintenance and improvements. An earlier audit report found that budget constraints have hindered the Postal Service’s ability to fund facility repairs and alterations. About half of its incomplete repairs in fiscal years 2011 and 2012 were potential safety and security problems, our report noted.

While $2 billion is a nice chunk of change, it’s a relatively small capital investment for a $68 billion organization. Still, the Postal Service has had so little available money for capital projects over the past few years that $2 billion seems like a bonanza.

So this week, we are asking you to weigh in with your suggestions on how the Postal Service should invest its $2 billion. Should vehicle fleet replacement be the number one priority? Or facilities? Where else is capital investment needed? What else would be on your wish list if extra funds were available? 

Comments (36)

  • anon

    Postal Banking! In other countries, the Post Office is also a bank. This could be a very excellent New Line of Business!

    Apr 13, 2015
  • anon

    I voted for Vehicle updating. As somebody that uses a aging FFV almost every day i can tell you one, is that we could use a better design, and two, the safety concerns as our current fleet is aging is scary. Just my $0.02

    Feb 12, 2015
  • anon

    Postal banking, please!

    Jan 28, 2015
  • anon

    New lines of business: postal banking.

    Jan 26, 2015
  • anon

    Postal banking. Eliminate the predators who feast on the misery of the poor and unbanked. And make quite a few bucks while you're at it.

    Jan 26, 2015
  • anon

    1. The Post Office is under attack because of the strength - employment, organizing - it has enabled for Black people! SCARey! for ANYone to be organized here in the U.S. - but especially for Black people to be so! You understand. 2. I vote for "With the decline of the Letter Mail, The most important investment must be new lines of business in order to make up the difference." public banking! and any of the other useful investments requested here. Invest in our commons - the P.O., health care, comfortable vacations for everyone, everyone able to have a good way to provide for themselves, - no reason these can't be done - except that in this system we must keep The Rich rich/wealth. normaha@pacbell.net

    Jan 26, 2015
  • anon

    Postal Banking is what I intend by 'New Lines of Business'.

    Jan 26, 2015
  • anon

    Please add Banking!

    Jan 25, 2015
  • anon

    Postal banking was successful for the USPS in the past and is still available in many countries around the world, including Europe. With the disappearance of community banks, a replacement is urgently needed, particularly for people who today are unbanked. Banking would be a profitable line of business while providing a much needed public service.

    Jan 25, 2015
  • anon

    I would LOVE to see the USPS bring back banking services like they used to have prior to 1965. This is a great way to get more customers into post office buildings.

    Jan 25, 2015
  • anon

    other lines of business: postal banking

    Jan 25, 2015
  • anon

    Employees who can help you and who can answer the phone. By the way, I know some former, retired postal employees from the larger cities whose mission it was to do as little as possible, and who made it uncomfortable for employees who actually did their jobs. I hope there is a way to deal with that sort of thing. I met illiterate postal employees who were given jobs because they were friends of the Post Master and who could not deliver mail properly. It's things like that that create animosity. Haven't seen that since I moved to Vermont, but it's a consideration.

    Jan 25, 2015
  • anon

    Ne vechiles! Don't waste another dime on new processing equipment when the equipment set you have now is over 100% more than needed, by any measure. Stop feeding contractors! Stop consolidations which are only paper, no real, savings. Buy REAL Carrier scanners instead of on the cheap bastardized units you've bought in the past

    Jan 25, 2015
  • anon

    Re-establish a post office bank to help serve "unbanked" population.

    Jan 25, 2015
  • anon

    Postal Banking is the "new business" most needed by the public. There is a solid and well-conceived model for it from previous such services by the USPS. It would help so many people and require relatively little expense which could all be easily recouped.

    Jan 25, 2015
  • anon

    New lines of business: postal banking.

    Jan 25, 2015
  • anon

    Certainly, everything listed in your capital investment list should be considered (much has already been). Where else is capital investment needed? Revamping its brand. With the new vehicles there should be a revamping (new face) put on the retail side of package acceptance. In those offices that are showing growth or potential growth, the buildings need more then maintenance, they need a facelift. Example: in my Level 18 office presently we have approx. 144 sq ft. window lobby with 36 sq ft of wall space for retail products. Imagine three customers standing in this space, along with a table and it is like shopping in a closet. Presently this office cannot display all the products it has to offer. With the removal of one 12 ft. wall to the adjoining postmasters office (that has never been used in last 16 years) the package products could open up to an additional 144 sq ft retail space. If we are going to be a package company, provide the funds to give offices that can sell retail packaging products the infrastructure to sell those products. You cannot sell a product, the customer does not see. Currently we are restrained from selling and promoting our products due to limited space (although the building has the space) So certainly, get new vehicles, advertise on them, do television ads, work with other agencies to build on our services . . . but don't forget the customer still needs to have a place they can come to purchase all we advertise and offer.

    Jan 24, 2015
  • anon

    Public Banking

    Jan 22, 2015
  • anon

    The Post Master General has recommend the re -implementing of Postal Banking, which was the norm until recently, especially in rural isolated locations. There are 40 million Americans who have no banking privileges and the central location and convenience of service makes it a natural solution to the billions of dollars gauged from poor people to cash their checks. As success makes it popular we can begin to look at expanding it into the infrastructure banking which allows the citizens of a city to pool their savings into a bank which funds local common and civic projects. In Berkeley instead of selling our fabulous Post Office we could turn it into the financial source for funding the civic buildings on our Civic Center that need earthquake retrofit.

    Jan 21, 2015
  • anon

    I agree with a previous comment. Our tracking is lousy. Many times the address is damaged with only the tracking number available. Tracking needs to show both delivery address and shippers address. Some times I can get our support folks up front to look at the SPBS images if they exist of the package. But this takes a lot of time and usually they are busy doing other stuff. And if it was hand sorted its just dead mail.

    Jan 21, 2015
  • anon

    Full staffing in the front lines.Copy machine,Fax machine, stamp dispensing machines, CUSTOMER SERVICE...Who wants too bank at the postal service with a half hour waiting in line. Simple just staff the buildings we already have. No need...to outsource.

    Jan 21, 2015
  • anon

    I vote for Vehicles.

    Jan 21, 2015
  • anon

    I agree that vehicle replacement should be the number one priority. We should replace the LLVs with energy efficient, dependable vehicles.

    Jan 25, 2015
  • anon

    USPS has announced it is looking for new delivery vehicles. Ford, Chevy and Ram all have small delivery vehicles...Why doesn't USPS give them a ballpark parameter of our needs? Let each come up with a design based on their current product line. Have a test run of 3,000 vehicles each from the bidders. After an evaluation period, determine the best overall design or designs. ( one design may be great in city, while another's may be great rural). Losers, if they are smart, keep the right hand drive availability. Many delivery companies know it is quicker and safer to make deliveries in cities, etc with right hand drive. Benefits: USPS doesn't design an expensive lemon. Repair, maintenance, spare parts, etc are mostly off the shelf from supplier. Flexibility going forward in adjusting vehicle needs based on actual usage. This seems to be a no-brainer way of getting the BEST delivery system for the lowest cost.

    Jan 21, 2015
  • anon

    Posted a comment over 12 hours ago and nothing. What a joke!

    Jan 20, 2015
  • anon

    Invest in people!!! Training!! Service!!! Award Systems!!! and Effeciency Initiatives!!!!

    Jan 20, 2015
  • anon

    Fully agree with you.. How about some classes for upper management in the use of common sense and following the contract. Will save massive amounts in grievance pay outs and time filling grievances

    Jan 22, 2015
  • anon

    Processing center in DM Iowa, STUPID mailed a pkg to them from calif, they sent it another location in calif, then it had to be sent back to Iowa again took 11 days for a priority 2 day package to get to the person in DM I sent it to. Also lost a card mailed at Johnston Post office never even got to california who knows where they sent it never ever got it from Dec Yet and and gift cards in it, well someone got sticky fingers. That processing center on the west side of DM is not the best it needs an overhaul in training and security cameras

    Jan 22, 2015
  • anon

    Hello Carolyn, We apologize for these instances and appreciate you taking the time to notify us of them. Please call your local Postal Service Consumer Affairs Office at (515) 251-2330 and file a complaint with them so they can begin to look into these matters. As well, file an online complaint form with out offices at https://www.uspsoig.gov/form/new-complaint-form, which will provide our offices with the critical information to look further into this matter also.

    Jan 22, 2015
  • anon

    For the first time in years? We have over $300 billion socked away and a total of over half-a-trillion in monies and real assets. The monies 'borrowed' from the government have been paid back in full and we have over $5 billion in liquidity. Please stop helping Corporate to put on the poor mouth. Going by you list: 1. Our fleet of LLV's is an aging maintenance disaster. Start replacing the fleet in larger metropolitan areas with a focus on reliability, economy and capacity in that order. The LLV's replaced can be used to augment the fleets in smaller areas until they too can be replaced. 2. You have to spend money on facility maintenance as a matter of course. That's what building side maintenance is for. If this is not being figured into our annual budget, someone at Corporate isn't doing their job. As for expansion, why would you close some facilities only to add on to others? 3. Why in the world would we spend any more money on MPE at this time?!. FSS is a disaster and we admittedly have an over abundance of mail processing equipment. The biggest problem I see is with the tracking everyone is so fixated on. Without an originating or destinating tracking address included in the tracking information, tracking is next to USELESS!!! 4. New lines of business, such as BANKING, advertising, etc. are a great idea. The focus here should be on maximizing profit with a MINIMUM of expenditure. 5. Eliminate 'work-sharing' and presorting discounts to our DIRECT COMPETITORS for work we could and SHOULD be accomplishing in house at a quarter of the cost and start charging enough for BBM processing that we can actually show a profit on it. Why in the world are we subsidizing Pitney Bowes, Netflix, UPS, FedEx, etc. by paying them to take business away from us?!. Not only is this a conflict of interest and amazingly stupid, it is a violation of US Code Title 39, Section 101 as it is all part and parcel of destroying 1st Class letter mail standards to the American public.

    Jan 20, 2015
  • anon

    Right on all counts! USPS HQ is still hellbent on giving contracts to all the companies that have been supported for years. Biggest abusers: Siemens, FedEx, Accenture, ABB, LSS is a waste, etc. Long term contractors that have been on books for 20+ years, inflation of executive positions etc. waste is not confined to Field units.

    Jan 25, 2015
  • anon

    I think that technology should be invested to create new version.

    Jan 20, 2015
  • anon

    Seemless / realtime Mail Forwarding, Automated foreign language address translation, Auto debit postage, and many other features to be discovered all start with this: http://postcom.org/public/articles/2013articles/holdenart.htm The physical address always has and will be the weak link in moving to digital processing from inception. Read the article.

    Jan 20, 2015
  • anon

    With the decline of the Letter Mail, The most important investment must be new lines of business in order to make up the difference.

    Jan 20, 2015
  • anon

    I will say that I am a huge snail-mail writer. We have 2 million Americans incarcerated in prisons who depend on the USPS to communicate w/ loved ones and friends. Keeping the USPS in public hands is essential to these cage souls. But I agree that the USPS needs new services like a banking service which they used to provide prior to the 1970's. Also, I used to enjoy making copies at copy machines at my old post office up until the 2000's when they were removed. BRING POSTAL BANKING BACK!

    Jan 25, 2015
  • anon

    I REALLY like the old idea of our public post offices offering ALL the services of UPS and FedEx Stores PLUS....the best of all.....CHECK CASHING and PAYDAY LOANS.....send and receive money services.

    Jan 25, 2015

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