At a recent PCC Day (Postal Customer Council) in Tampa, the USPS spent some time reviewing a pilot program called gopost. Although designed for package delivery it does not take too much imagination to envision this expanding to mail delivery.
In a nutshell, the post office places automated secured parcel lockers in convenient locations. You register on-line to get your account number/access card and PIN. You have your package shipped to the gopost address, they notify you via email or text that your package has arrived and you simply go pick it up at your convenience. For more information go to gopost.com
There are approximately 3700 post offices in the United States that serve 100 or less residents. The cost, certainly needs to come into play. Would it make sense to expand gopost to gomail?
In an article written in July 2011 by theeagle.com, it talks about the idea of Village Post Offices and more interesting is the discussion on the social aspects of the post office in rural areas.
For many people, especially seniors, getting out, going to the bank, post office or barbershop is a social event. I remember cashing my check on Friday and having a beer with my friends. Lost its luster with auto deposit somehow, kind of took the celebration out of it.
History may repeat itself. Walk into the general store, which is also the post office, buy your supplies, get your mail and get back into the buckboard (wagon) and head home. (and no I don’t remember this).
Analogous to today: go to Walmart, buy your food, hardware, other sundries, pick up your mail jump in your gas guzzling SUV and go home. Could also be a bank, but they are trying to go tellerless. How about the barber? Not good for the follicle challenged.
So what do you think the evolution of the rural post office will represent?