You've got Mail... for now

In response to declining revenues, the U.S. Postal Service has proposed another round of post office closures, overlooking other potential cost savings. There is little doubt the Postal Service 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, the Postal Service 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.

We should also increase public investment in rural broadband internet access. The digital revolution is the root cause of declining mail volume, but quality and affordable broadband service is still badly lacking in much of rural America. It is important to ensure rural people are not left without access to both the internet and postal services.

Innovative strategies such as these could make it possible for the Postal Service to adjust to a new reality of reduced revenues while maintaining quality service for rural people.

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