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Amtrak lost $800M on cheeseburgers and soda
Washington Examiner ^

Posted on 08/02/2012 1:35:12 PM PDT by TigerClaws

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To: UCANSEE2 Doing it Indian style ~ this guy is making omlets ~ on the station platform.

41 posted on 08/02/2012 2:39:11 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Opinionated Blowhard
Roughly Miami to Boston ~ it is feasible to carve out profitable rail in that corridor ~ but no where else.

Americans built roads and drive cars for a reason ~ to make personal transportation much cheaper than could be delivered by the rail system.

42 posted on 08/02/2012 2:41:25 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

“So, your point is what? Somebody left your mail where the dog ate it or something?”

Seems like I recall from past communications that you are a USPS employee. But no matter. The USPS is a disgrace! and it’s a “joint venture” between voracious PE unions and stupid management. I read recently that at it’s zenith, the USPS employed 900,000 people; that it’s now down to something around 400k, and it needs to be half that based on the workload ( mail isn’t as popular as it once was). There are strong parallels between Amtrak and the USPS. They both, from all outward appearances, are run for the benefit of their employees and not their customers. We have a cadre of self-important postal workers where I live that make a trip to the PO worse than going to the proctologist. Because the know there is no discipline, they get away with being assholes to all who enter. And equally problematic are the “postal service rules.” Example: We have a PO Box for our business. My wife was out of town and had the only key. She called and talked to a supervisor who told her that they would give me the mail if I just went in and identified myself to one of the clerks. Not so fast. The clerk I engaged informed me that it was “against the rules” for them to get me the mail, but they would “sell” me a new key for ten bucks!. It was only when I told her the name of the supervisor and the commitment that had been made that I was able to get the mail without being blackmailed into buying another key. The USPS could shut down tomorrow and we would all get by with e-mail, and the private carriers like UPS and FedEx. Sorry, but that’s how I see it. Just wondering about how long you will keep your chair there and how much of a pension you will receive.

43 posted on 08/02/2012 3:24:02 PM PDT by vette6387
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“Amtrak probably gets them for a buck a piece.

The other $15 goes to Union dues and salary and bribes and kickbacks and political donations.”

Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner!

You just have to wonder how much longer these drones at government agencies are going to believe the BS they have been told with respect to their employment and retirement benefits. We are just like the USSR when Communism folded and the everyone was left without any retirement.
They should be glad to have a job and work at it like their life depended on it, not be a bunch of self-important jerks trying their best to piss off their employers.

44 posted on 08/02/2012 3:30:54 PM PDT by vette6387
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To: vette6387

Don't let your imagination run away with you.

Peak was barely over 600,000 ~ but thanks to modern mechanization, automation, computerization, improved work methods and robotics USPS was able to achieve advanced productivity rates.

When I first worked there they had about 500,000 employees and 35 billion pieces of mail. When I left just a few years back they had about 600,000 employees and over 200 billion pieces of mail.

Their geographic coverage area (for delivery) had doubled.

AMTRAK, in contrast, has gotten smaller and smaller ~ it's a hollow shell of the rail passenger system that preceded it. It's annual costs and income aren't in the same league as USPS, and it does not pay for itself out of fares but requires a substantial government subsidy. USPS pays for itself out of postage for mail service.

The USPS Is hardly a disgrace.

BTW, next time they're going to toss your mail to your neighbors dog. Same result, but you won't know it for a while. Making that call now eh!

45 posted on 08/02/2012 3:47:00 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: vette6387; muawiyah
I have worked for companies that do a LOT of shipping, and got familiar with the personalities of the various carriers. The USPS has its foibles, but UPS and FedEx are not exactly angels. Just TRY to get UPS to honor a warranty for a package damaged in transit that had insurance. You might be able to do it, just like the kids who scored the free Christmas tree in "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn". Customer friendly they were NOT. UPS also managed to misdirect a $1,500 hard drive from E.Hartford, CT to Milpitas, California. They later tried to claim we signed for it, pointing to the signing for a smaller package received BEFORE the drive was sent.

An overnight letter I sent to a residence in Poughkeepsie, NY wound up in a shopping mall.

UPS and FedEx treat you better depending on how close you are to their hubs.

USPS provides a good value in both their Media Mail and Priority Mail.

USPS' biggest failure is not slowness, but paperwork for business customers. The Manifest Mail application is an ordeal straight from the Byzantine Empire. Tracking features are not what they should be. Even when available and paid for, huge gaps are often found even when the item is "in the system".

All told, all are imperfect... all are mostly good. If you don't like unions, then stay away from UPS.

I like the idea of ensuring that there is a USPS, because I want at least one service where the employees can't outright go on strike (like UPS did), and the carrier won't simply file Chapter 7. The post office predates the Declaration of Independence, and postal roads are included in the U.S. Constitution.

There are some parts of the system that are definitely money losers: 45 cent stamps to North Pole, Alaska, Death Valley, Giam, and APOs in Afghanistan for starters. I'd hate to see what other carrier would even send a post card to those locations.
46 posted on 08/02/2012 3:52:50 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana ("I love to hear you talk talk talk, but I hate what I hear you say."-Del Shannon)
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To: vette6387
Key Fee; I wrote the rules on that one. Copied them from the model regulations Canada had pioneered. The basic idea was that key replacements should pay for themselves.

In Stage I we raised the price from 30 cents to $1.00 ~ in those days we had our own lock and key facility ~ but now they are provided commercially so the price has gone up to $3.00. it's not exactly a fee ~ more like a deposit ~ to be returned to you when the key is given back to USPS at the end of your rental. See;

47 posted on 08/02/2012 3:53:44 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Dr. Sivana
Manifest Mail is one of those cases where it does look like UPS managed to get an old AMGeneral manager infiltrated into the Office of Mail Classification.

Although USPS was already testing out a Manifest Mailing system that was simple, easy to use, and effective, this doppelganger managed to screw it up. He even accused the guy who was in charge of that project of taking a bribe from Illinois Bell.

Both of them are long dead now ~ but UPS has always been a problem. Anything that might improve a parallel service they'll figure out how to get someone to screw it up ~ and that takes management intrigue. They probably have their payoff artists at work while we speak.

48 posted on 08/02/2012 3:59:44 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: vette6387
If Amtrak is claiming these turds in a bag cost them more than $16 apiece, someone is taking a huge payoff. You can buy a box of eight of them at Costco for less than $10! Amtrak, USPS, all the same deal. Cradle to grave workforce that’s overpaid and underworked.

Yet, these same people are presumed competent to run the healthcare apparatus for a nation of 300 million people.

49 posted on 08/02/2012 4:05:37 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: masadaman
The deal was not padded 100%, but nearly 5000% i.e., for every dollar of real cost, the Navy was charged nearly $500.

5000% = 5000 per 100 = X50, i.e. $50 for each $1, so ... not that bad!

50 posted on 08/02/2012 5:09:03 PM PDT by dr_lew
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To: muawiyah

“BTW, next time they’re going to toss your mail to your neighbors dog. Same result, but you won’t know it for a while. “

Not a chance! We have our mail delivered by a guy in a jeep who weighs at least 300 lb. My dog went and got in his truck the other day and gave him a great big lick on the face! Actually, he’s the only USPS employee that seems to be a nice guy. He has a smile on his face and actually can muster up a hello if he sees you.
I guess you have your numbers and I have the one’s that i’ve seen, but the fact remains that with electronic communication, mail volume is down substantially and will go down a lot further in the not too distant future. I have read that the USPS is planning to “release” 210,000 “employees” within the next couple of years by early outs or involuntary retirements. Problem is that with the current benes, they will just go on paying for the same workers essentially the same compensation even though they are no longer coming to work (that is until the money finally runs out, which it will). Despite the Constitutional requirement for a government run PO, it will never be self-sustaining because it runs for the primary benefit of it’s workforce, not it’s customers.

51 posted on 08/02/2012 10:13:48 PM PDT by vette6387
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To: vette6387
it's still self-sustaining. The cuts that need to be made were outlined for Postmaster General William Bolger several decades back ~ based on a study I had done.

FIRST, get rid of 28,000 unnecessary or redundant buildings. Phase out about 78,000 rural postmasters, and other employees ~ as those unnecessary buildings are removed.

All delivery services (except post office boxes in city delivery post offices) would be removed to rural carrier delivery service ~ with the use of kiosks or cluster boxes.

Since that time advances in automation tell us that that there are about 200,000 more employees who are not needed.

Congress prohibits all of these changes from being made.

It's not something postal management kept secret from anybody. The unions and employee associations certainly knew all about it.

What you need to do is demand your Senators and Representatives allow them to be made!

52 posted on 08/03/2012 6:11:46 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

“FIRST, get rid of 28,000 unnecessary or redundant buildings. Phase out about 78,000 rural postmasters, and other employees ~ as those unnecessary buildings are removed.”

I like what you are proposing. But as you say, the Congress uses the USPS as a means of currying favor with “rural customers” and the jobs that the USPS “provides” for “constituents.” And just think, the GSA could have some more “parties” at taxpayer expense” to “celebrate selling off” the unneeded real estate! The USPS could probably be salvaged it it were made a truly private institution. Even some of the European countries have truly privatized their postal services to great advantage.
I remember back when Reagan and the Republicans “deregulated” the airline industry. The RATS were weeping and wailing that “rural America” “deserved” first class air service even if it had to be subsidized by the airlines through higher ticket prices on routes where they were able to make money. For them “it wasn’t fair” to make Ma and Pa Kettle fly on a smaller plane from their little airport in Swollen Groin. Even now, thanks to Dingy Harry, Ely, Nevada has “scheduled air service” to Las Vegas, where the planes often fly empty and the taxpayer picks up the cost. But hey, It’s the American Way now isn’t it!

53 posted on 08/03/2012 9:16:39 AM PDT by vette6387
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To: vette6387
USPS handles its own realty matters and does not need to interact with the crooks over at GSA ~ EXCEPT where there's a shared building (e.g. post office plus federal court house or customs facility).

The guys who wrote the postal reorganization act were wise to the ways of the gub'mnt!

54 posted on 08/03/2012 9:29:59 AM PDT by muawiyah
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