The Postal Service is well on its way in the closure process for most of the post offices in the Retail Access Optimization Initiative (RAOI). Many of these 3,652 post offices have already had a public hearing, and questionnaires are being distributed and other data gathered as part of the process. Some of these post offices could start closing before the end of the year. But not all of them will close — a few have already been spared.
On September 21, 2011, the Postal Service gave the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) an updated list of the post offices being considered for closure as part of the RAOI. The list included some 83 post offices that were no longer under consideration for closure as of August 31, 2011.
The Postal Service did not provide an explanation why each office was removed, perhaps because it didn’t want to provide ammunition to communities engaged in fighting closures. But it looks like one of the factors for removing a post office from the study list was the distance to another post office. Thirty-one of the 83 no longer under consideration for closure are in Alaska, where it can be a couple of hundred miles or more to the next-nearest post office. (Here’s one of the many news articles that came out about the Alaska post offices.)
Five other post offices were removed because they were “annexes erroneously included” on the original list — they weren't supposed to be on it in the first place. As for the 47 post offices not in Alaska, it’s not at all clear why they were removed or what the implications are for all those post offices still on the list.
We've mapped the post offices removed from the RAOI and complied a list that’s easier to use than the original USPS list. The Postal Service’s complete list with those marked as off list is here. The more user-friendly list with links is here. A map view is here.
UPDATE: The Postal Service provided a new list on Nov. 2, here.