(July 24, 2015) WASHINGTON- U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) today announced the introduction of the Postal Innovation Act, a bill that supports the modernization of United States Postal Service (USPS) vehicles by incorporating more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly technology.
“At a time when budgets are tight, it is in our best interest to find creative ways to make prudent investments that improve safety, reduce the carbon footprint of postal vehicles, and save taxpayers money,” Sen. Booker said. “The Postal Innovation Act will help the Postal Service identify efficient and innovative technologies to better serve Americans.”
The USPS employs nearly 22,000 people in New Jersey and 618,000 people across the nation. USPS has long been a provider of critical communications services, yet needs to explore ways to keep pace with the changing needs of consumers. The Postal Innovation Act takes steps forward to address these challenges by having the USPS investigate the economic benefits of non-postal services such as public Internet access.
The savings from these programs can spur future innovation, research, and development to ensure the USPS can sustain itself well into the future.
The Postal Innovation Act:
· Allows the Postal Service to implement pilot programs in five cities for non-postal services including public wireless broadband Internet access, experimental postal products market testing, beer and wine shipment, warehousing, and Internet voting.
· Allows the Postal Service to enter into contracts to upgrade the postal fleet by increasing long-term savings through the reduction of collision, maintenance, fuel, and other costs.
· Requires postal vehicles to be outfitted with collision-averting technology.
· Instructs the Postal Service to reduce its vehicular consumption of petroleum products by no less than two percent annually through the end of fiscal year 2025.
· Requires postal vehicles to comply with standards established by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in accordance with the agency’s authority under the Clean Air Act.
· Allows the Postal Service to utilize savings from this act to reinvest in innovation, research, and development.
· Provides guidelines for the Comptroller General to conduct a study of potential opportunities and challenges related to the Postal Service providing public internet access and online voting.
The Postal Innovation Act is supported by the League of American Bicyclists and the Truck Safety Coalition.