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Cycling success

Bike delivery limits USPS carbon footprint

Sun City, AZ, Letter Carrier Carrie Johnson makes her appointed rounds by bicycle recently.

Letter carriers at the Sun City, AZ, Main Post Office are contributing to USPS sustainability efforts two wheels at a time.

The office is one of only four in the Postal Service where carriers make their rounds on bike.

“They’re very sturdy, and carriers have to be trained how to ride them because they are not like regular bikes,” Postmaster Diana Christian said of her fleet of more than 40 bicycles.

Sun City maintains 25 bike delivery routes and is considering adding more. With thousands of dollars saved in annual fuel costs and the low impact on the environment, it’s not hard to see why.

The delivery routes are optimized for bikes, and each one saves 6-8 miles per day in vehicle mileage.

Christian and her letter carriers see nothing but upside when it comes to bike delivery.

“With bikes, we have fewer accidents,” she said. “We don’t have the same concerns, like rollaway accidents, as you would with vehicles.”

Letter Carrier Dan Stawarski has been delivering on bike for 25 years and attributes his health to a career pedaling the mail.

“I’m 61 years old, not on any medication and I feel good,” he said. “I thank the Post Office for letting me ride a bike.”

USPS is highlighting Sun City and the other Post Offices where employees deliver mail by bike — Sierra Adobe, AZ; Open Air, FL; and Miami Beach, FL — for Earth Day, which will mark its 50th anniversary on April 22.

In addition to using bikes, the Postal Service uses other environmentally friendly ways to deliver mail, including a fleet of more than 40,000 alternative fuel capable vehicles. Additionally, almost 7,000 carriers deliver mail solely by foot — a method that releases no greenhouse gas emissions and reduces traffic.

Sun City’s assault on carbon emissions isn’t limited to the use of bicycles, either.

The office also encourages carpooling and has dedicated carpool spaces near the front of the building.

“I love being a part of it and I think it’s amazing,” Christian said of her office’s special status. “Our customers love it, and the carriers take a lot of pride in it. That’s the best thing about this job.”

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