Innovative strategies are needed for the Postal Service to adjust to a new reality of reduced revenues while maintaining quality service for rural people.
In response to declining revenues, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has proposed another round of post office closures, overlooking other potential cost savings. There is little doubt USPS needs to restructure, but care must be taken not to leave rural communities without services crucial to businesses, news delivery, and, in some communities, a link to prescription drugs and other services.
We should maintain rural Americans’ ability to send and receive goods and connect with others by keeping service locations open and by increasing remote service options. The cost to serve rural communities can be reduced by keeping a full-service window open within another local business like a grocery store or bank, eliminating the cost of maintaining a separate office.
Moreover, USPS can offer more remote service options than ordering stamps by mail. Equipping postal carriers to process packages and even make in-person stops at businesses would help preserve services in areas where brick-and-mortar offices cannot be maintained.