James Leroy Wilson's blog

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Do you need to get the mail more than twice a week?

The news that U.S. postal delivery will end on Saturdays, accompaned by the news that thousands of Post Offices are closing, got me thinking: is that all they can do?

But then I thought, are these the things they should do?

Short of the best (and only moral) option of de-monopolizing second-class letter delivery and selling off the Post Office, it seems to make sense to explore more creative options.

For instance, my county is very sparsely populated. Also, I don't need mail delivery every day. Actually, I don't need it more than twice a week.

Furthermore, the mail doesn't come to my home. I have a free mailbox at my village's Post Office.

If that Post Office closes, I'll still be getting mail, but it will be at a box in my home. Every day, people in my village will still get their mail through a house to house carrier than through the Post Office. There are also drivers who deliver daily to farms and other country houses.

Why waste the gas on home delivery, when the Postal Service already owns a building right in town?

Instead of closing the building, why not keep it open two days a week instead of six? Why not have delivery in the countryside twice a week, instead of daily?

The same staff could work three nearby villages at once:

  • Village A's Post Office is open, and rural delivery in the nearby area, is on Monday and Thursday. .
  • Village B: Tuesday and Friday.
  • Village C: Wednesday and Saturday.
For next-day or special deliveries, there could be a truck going to homes as needed.

This won't amount to savings of two-thirds. But it savings may be half, considering the reduced staff, gas, and heat/electricity for the buildings.

What about the major cities, with house-to-house deliveries?

Do you need mail delivery twice a week?

Why can't the same postal carrier work three neighborhoods on the same principle: Neighborhood A gets delivery Monday and Thursday, etc.

I suppose one problem, based on my experience as an urban apartment dweller, is that the mailbox in the apartment "lobby" may not be big enough for all the junk mail if it's only delivered twice weekly.

But as for real mail - correspondence from people you know, bills, and other important documents, do you really need to get it more than twice a week?

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