Crunch time at US Postal Service: Five questions about post office closings.

The US Postal Service may shutter as many as 3,700 post offices nationwide, to help close a $20 billion revenue shortfall between now and 2015. How'd the venerable USPS get into this position? Here's the answer to that question and four others concerning what's next for the Postal Service.

4. Is there a new system to replace closed post offices and lost services?

The Postal Service is proposing to bridge the service gap with more than 2,500 "village post offices," geared primarily toward smaller communities. They would be installed in nonunionized grocery and convenience stores, and perhaps even libraries or government centers, and offer services such as selling stamps and flat-rate shipping.

In fact, says Brennan, the idea isn't new: The Postal Service has been partnering with third parties to offer products and services for more than 50 years.

Mail delivery services will be absorbed by the nearest post office, or as is already the case in many rural areas that don't provide mail delivery, customers will receive mail through PO Boxes at village post offices. The USPS is also considering installing cluster boxes where customers would get mail delivery at a centrally located box, delivered by a postal carrier from a nearby town.

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