The call for comments follows the USPS Office of Inspector General's recent publication of a report about rural mail service throughout American history, along with an assessment of the current factors affecting the issue. For instance, the report notes that rural areas are more expensive to serve, partly because of distance, partly because of poorly planned routes. The explainer is the first in a planned series of new works meant to help readers better understand the rural-urban divide in postal service, according to the report.
The USPS has operated at a loss for years, and reported a net loss of nearly $2.3 billion for the third quarter of fiscal year 2019; that puts it on pace to lose nearly $8 billion in 2019. In December, a Treasury Department task force released a report recommending big changes to keep the USPS afloat—some of which could cost rural residents more.