edison_post-office_web.jpgFlorida International University

MIAMI — Postal customers who don't drive will be forced to take buses and long walks to buy stamps if the U.S. Postal Service decides to close the Edison post office.

Patrons will have to use the Buena Vista or Little River stations. Buena Vista is approximately three miles from Edison; Little River is 2½  miles away.
“A lot of old people walk to this post office,” said Glenn Green, who has a post office box at Edison. “Now, I don’t know how they are going to get their needs met.”

Adds Jovaris Rose, who frequently sends packages at Edison: “It’s a bad idea, there’s no other post offices in the neighborhood.”

Facing declining patronage and billion-dollar deficits, the Postal Service published a list last summer of about 3,600 post offices that could be closed.

By October, the number had been whittled down to 371, of which 12 were in South Florida and six in Miami-Dade County. Edison, located on Northwest 62nd Street between Northwest Seventh and Northwest Eighth avenues in Liberty City, is one of two Miami-Dade facilities remaining on the list; the other is in Miami International Airport’s Terminal B.

USPS regulations say the decision to close a post office must consider its proximity to other stations, the amount of business it generates and the number of elderly, poor, non-English speakers or others with special needs who use it.

Getting to the Buena Vista post office on Northeast 39th Street will require Edison customers to take a bus and a 20-minute walk. Little River, on Northeast 84th Street, requires two bus rides and a 10-minute walk.

Residents and postal workers have rallied to save Edison.

“It is unfair to the community because it is a service that’s needed. The decision on whether or not to close should be based on the service needed not by the revenue,” said Wilhelmina Ford, Miami president of the American Postal Workers Union.

Closing Edison will not just impact postal customers, said Winston Benjamin, owner of Benjie’s Grocery, next door to the facility.

“It's going to affect my business tremendously,” he said. “People park here to go to the post office and then come back to buy lunch.”