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US Postal Service shows off its high-tech image for '88

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Machines, high technology, and shorter lines will mark a visit to the new post office in 1988. The United States Postal Service also will offer innovations such as ordering stamps on a 24-hour phone line with delivery by letter carriers.

Postmaster General Preston R. Tisch outlined these plans as he addressed National Postal Forum-Northeast, the first of a series of regional meetings for major business users of the mails. More than 1,400 companies were able to see a model of a new postal station in action during a three-day series of forums and workshops last week in Boston.

The basic goal of the new services is to reduce time spent in lines, asking questions, and guessing at prices and services, Mr. Tisch says.

Modernized postal stations will become a reality in 60 major US cities next year, he says.

Key officials from the Postal Service and regional workers operated Exhibition Station, a model post office, and conducted 12 workshops on how to utilize the new and computerized services that will be available at the modernized offices. They also discussed special services that will be available by telephone and computer terminals.

Mailers were encouraged to use the ZIP-plus-4 codes to ensure faster and more efficient delivery of mail. The ZIP-plus-4 is the regular ZIP code plus an added four-numeral code recommended by the Postal Service.

New features for 1988, some already tested and installed in Boston-area post offices, include:

Multiple-choice stamp machines: Patrons may buy stamps in various denominations in varied numbers. ``These are converted candy machines,'' says James Daniels of Memphis, a technician at the exhibit.

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