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Hagerstown postal routes revamped

August 06, 1997

Hagerstown postal routes revamped

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

Starting Saturday, carriers for the Hagerstown Post Office will be spending less time delivering the same amount of mail, according to Postmaster Robert Gingell.

"We reduced our existing 50 full-time routes to 46," Gingell said. "There are still two part-time routes but they are a lot different now."

The delivery area includes the City of Hagerstown and beyond to the Washington County Regional Airport, part of the Dual Highway out to Robinwood and most of Halfway, Gingell said.

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About 27,000 residential and commercial customers are located in those routes, he said.

A full-time route is defined simply as eight hours of work for a carrier, Gingell said.

But in many instances, routes in the Hagerstown delivery area overlapped each other, weaving in and out of each other, scattered around in a non-sensical and inefficient fashion.

"Some carriers would deliver mail to most of their routes and then have to drive 15 minutes to reach two customers on that same route," Gingell said.

What happened was that several of those unwieldy routes have now been blocked off with an eye toward more efficient traffic patterns, Gingell said.

"Another bonus is that with postal automation, mail now comes here sorted by location so our carriers spend less time in this building sorting mail and more time out there delivering it," Gingell said.

Most customers won't even notice a difference, Gingell said. He expects some phone calls when customers find out that their carrier has changed or the mail is coming at a different time.

"We had a route inspection in the spring and that figured into this change," Gingell said.

Actually getting out and driving around the routes let postal employees take note of where one-way streets, dead ends and other unusual patterns have an impact on delivery.

Blocking off the routes took about three to four weeks. When the new routes were determined, the carriers were allowed to bid on them.

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