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Austin among places facing major mail delivery slowdown, affecting residents paying bills by mail


Mail delivery times across the nation have officially gone up with Austinites expected to see up to a 26.9% increase.

As of Friday, mail delivery has slowed as part of the Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's 10-year plan for cutting costs. The delivery slowdown brings the standard three-day delivery period for first-class mail up to five days anywhere in the U.S., which could bring problems to residents paying bills and the delivery of important documents such as election mail.

Central to South Texas joins Western states in having the highest projected percent increase in average delivery times. A map by retired New York University professor Steve Hutkins, who runs a blog called Save the Post Office, shows Austin will see average mail delivery times increase 18% to 26.9%.

The United States Postal Service will continue its two-day delivery for a single-piece first-class mail traveling within a local area.

So far, the change is permanent and the residents most affected will be those in rural areas, the disabled and the elderly. Those that pay bills by mail will need to be prepared for longer delivery times, otherwise, they may face late fees. Some critics say slow deliveries will harm election mail and mailings of essential documents such as passports.

The Postmaster General's plan goes into effect to increase revenue through expanded parcel delivery and postage hikes, with the latest postage increase having gone into effect in August. It aims to get ahead of a projected $160 billion loss over the next decade.


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