No robo-post office, yet, on Hudson St.


By Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke

When the West Village Post Office at 527 Hudson St. reopens, it will continue to be staffed by humans. Eventually, the clerks will be joined by an automated postal center.

As Scoopy’s Notebook recently reported, concerned citizens posted a sign on the West Village Post Office, located at 527 Hudson St., that the “under-renovation” post office was to reopen as an automated postal center.

Community residents were concerned that the station was going to do away with what one resident described as an exceptionally nice staff.

“The population [in the far West Village] has increased,” said Marilyn Dorato, secretary of the Greenwich Village Block Associations. “It just does not make sense to cut back on services.”

According to Patricia McGovern, spokesperson for New York District Post Offices, a meeting was held with community members to address these reservations on Sept. 6. After listening to community concerns, the postal district managers decided to retain the clerks, but also add an automated postal center at a later date.

Automated postal centers are fairly new and currently exist in many post offices. However, there are currently no stations that are solely automated in Manhattan. McGovern likens these machines to a “postal A.T.M.,” and says that they are able to perform 80 percent of transactions. The most notable exception is the ability to process money orders.

“Many people like them, especially the more computer savvy,” said McGovern. “They are fun to use and feature a touch screen.”

There is still no exact date for the reopening of the station, which has been closed for renovations for months. McGovern attributed the extensive renovation time to structural damage that was found beneath the floor and needed to be repaired.