The COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders have shown us all the value of having mail and parcels delivered to our door, but even during normal times there are remote and rural communities that rely solely on the Postal Service to deliver their parcels year-round.

Our white paper “Rural and Urban Origins of the U.S. Postal Service” notes that while urban home delivery started in 1863, rural areas did not get it until 1896. Prior to that time, people had to travel to the nearest post office to pick up their mail or pay for a private carrier for delivery. Over 120 years later, USPS remains a lifeline in remote communities, often the only means of home delivery.

It’s difficult to imagine life in these areas without the Postal Service. Below are some of the ways USPS gets mail to remote areas.
 

Do you have a story to tell about the value of mail delivery in rural America?

Comments (8)

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  • anon

    Given the importance that the USPS plays for all citizens in receiving timely and important documents and resources, including payments, medications, and business materials--particularly, as noted in "USPS: Going Where Others Don't" regarding reaching those in rural or remote areas-- it's imperative that the policies and tactics recently employed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy not only be suspended, but be reversed and undone. Critical machinery, such as sorting machines that allow postal workers to do their jobs more efficiently must be returned and be fully operational ASAP. Postal boxes that were removed must be reinstalled. Crucial overtime that allowed postal workers to perform their work most efficiently to assure timely delivery of mail to all parts of our nation who rely on USPS services must be reinstated. And redeployment of individuals who were removed from positions or moved to other roles to hinder operations or otherwise reduce confidence in the postal service must be reversed. Undermining the vital services that we Americans revere is NOT okay. Attempting to demoralize postal clerks and other staff and their dedication and hard work is unacceptable. While any business or enterprise can find ways to improve, the people served by the USPS know and appreciate its longstanding value to our nation, and consider it to be among the most reliable public institutions in the U.S. Now--during an unprecedented health crisis--is the time to bolster the USPS' ability to reach all Americans, not to diminish those capabilities. Stand up to Mr. DeJoy and tell him unequivocally that his actions must support true progress for the USPS and improving -- not degrading -- what its workers can achieve. Insist that all changes that he put into effect at the president's behest be completely reversed and that he push for the funding needed to ensure that USPS workers can deliver in the timely manner they have been doing for decades -- and especially reliably during the upcoming election. The USPS is a cornerstone of our nation and our democracy. It should not be impeded in the ways that he set out to do, now or ever.

    Aug 20, 2020
  • anon

    with that being said. unfortunately; I just outside of Charleston wv in a rural area and our local carriers are NOT going out of their way to deliver to home in these rural areas. they either stuff what they can in a mailbox, or leave a not, your not home come pick it up.. and didn't in fact even go to the house to see if I was! Understanding the pandemic height. there should be another solution for everyone.. either keep lobbies open longer so that the working folks can pick up their packages or hire more drivers and have them make sure they really do deliver to every door as needed! Instead of shutting down the small postal stores.

    Jul 30, 2020
  • anon

    I live in a rural area, Morongo Valley California, at the end of a long treacherous drive at the side of a valley. I do not own a car and I depend on the United States postal service for almost everything. I would love to take this opportunity to thank those folks that get me my mail and so much more. Thanks so much to all the people at the Morongo Valley post office and my good friend, Mike.

    Jul 21, 2020
  • anon

    So, you have decided that timely delivery of Americans’ mail is no longer a priority. That is just wrong. Many people and business depend on their mail to be delivered on time. Not to mention mail that needs to be picked up from our mailboxes. If you don’t want to pay your carriers overtime, then hire more people. But stop messing with our mail.

    Jul 21, 2020
  • anon

    i need this

    Jul 20, 2020
  • anon

    While working with the Transportation Management Service Center small prop planes were contracted with pontoons for landing gear for remote areas where people resided. Nothing prohibited the USPS from connecting people.

    Jul 20, 2020
  • anon

    FedEx and UPS can find my house to deliver parcels by only using my name and zip code. Why cannot the USPS? Your computers and personnel are unable by decree to associate my house address to my Post Office Box number. Your SmartPost and SurePost logistical systems fail my situation miserably. My merchandise can traverse the world but become not deliverable when it reaches my local postal station. Perhaps dogs for the blind would be effective.

    Jul 20, 2020
  • anon

    I totally agree with Mr. Raymond. UPS and FedEx have computers that will not accept P.O. Boxes, but only physical addresses. Then they deliver to my local very rural post office which ONLY understands P.O. Boxes. I have had mail returned to sender due to this SmartPost and SurePost mess. I live in rural Okanogan County, Washington, and am forced to travel 22 miles round trip to get my mail. It seems that rural people without rural delivery are being discriminated against. Why should some get mail at their homes and others not? Your article about how mail is delivered to rural areas is a farce. Early in the history of our area, a young lady of 16 would ride horseback to deliver mail here. There was even a post office near that was closed in the 1940's.

    Aug 11, 2020

Recent Comments

  • 1 day 23 hours ago
    Four packages in one week have been lost. Tracking says “delivery attempted” but that is a complete lie. I have video proof. Did everything online, called, created a search (once you I created a...
  • 1 day 23 hours ago
    Same thing here, this week 4 packages where marked Delivery attempted which is a lie and have video proof that the mailman didn’t even show up. Still waiting....

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