Lawrence residents soon will be noticing changes in their mail delivery as the local post office moves one step closer to automation, Lawrence Postmaster Bill Reynolds said today.
Reynolds said significant changes in local mail delivery will take effect Saturday. Although there may be a few confusing weeks, Reynolds said, the transition to automation should result in more consistent and better mail service. The U.S. Postal Service expects its Lawrence branch to be fully automated by 1995.
Most local residents will notice two changes in postal service. Reynolds said that the time of mail delivery will change for many customers. Some will receive their mail earlier in the day, and others later, he said.
ONE OF the most significant changes that will take effect is that after Saturday, mail carriers will spend approximately two hours of their day sorting mail and six hours delivering mail. Currently, carriers spend four hours sorting and four hours delivering mail.
Reynolds said mail delivery within the city will begin almost an hour earlier at 10 a.m. Rural routes, he said, will not be affected by this first round of changes. Reynolds said the postal service delivers mail to about 27,000 local locations.
In addition to changes in delivery time, which Reynolds said should stabilize by March 1, Lawrence residents also may notice a different carrier at the mailbox. Because the postal service has "reconfigured" its routes in conjunction with the conversion to automation, some residents may be served by a different carrier. Carriers formerly served an average of 575 locations; after the changes, they will serve about 800 locations.
MOST CARRIERS will continue to start their day about 8 a.m., Reynolds said. However, some carriers will report in about 4:15 a.m. He explained that carriers who start their days that early will be doing sorting that eventually will be done by automation when the switch is complete.
Automation is expected to reduce the nationwide postal work force by 80,000 employees by 1995.
About 40 of the 150 local postal service employees will lose their jobs when automation is complete, Reynolds said.
Reynolds said the postal service hopes to reduce its workload through attrition rather than layoffs.