Calling the six-days-per-week mail delivery business model “no longer sustainable,” the U.S. Postal Service Wednesday morning announced it will eliminate Saturday delivery of mail by Aug. 1.
The plan to change delivery from six days a week to five would only affect first-class mail. Packages, mail-order medicines, priority and express mail would still be delivered on Saturdays, and local post offices will remain open for business Saturdays. But eliminating Saturday mail deliver is expected to save the Postal Service, which is in debt, $2 billion a year.
According to the U.S. Postal Service, the reasons are continued economic struggles and the increasing use of the Internet for communications and bill paying by consumers. The U.S. Postal Service is also the only federal agency required to pre-fund health benefits for retirees, and those costs are escalating quickly.
“Our current business model of delivering mail six days a week is no longer sustainable. We must change in order to remain an integral part of the American community for decades to come.”
Saturday is the lightest mail delivery day by volume and many businesses are closed on Saturdays, according to the U.S. Postal Service. However, many residents receive print magazines and ads on Saturdays that may be shifted to another day.
A Rasmussen poll on mail delivery in 2012 showed “Three-out-of-four Americans would prefer the U.S. Postal Service cut mail delivery to five days a week rather than receive government subsidies to cover ongoing losses.”
A USA Today/Gallup poll in 2010 found the majority of U.S. residents surveyed were ok with eliminating Saturday delivery. The March 2010 telephone survey of 999 adults revealed people age 55 and older were more likely than younger people to have used the mail to pay a bill or send a letter in the past two weeks.
People on the Woodinville Patch Facebook page have posted varying reactions:
John Hughes said, "That's really too bad. It's the only day of the week I have time to sit down and actually read the new mail as it arrives. I think many services and societal norms are going to change (especially in our area) over the next few years as the area keeps squeezing residents for the tax dollar based on valuations from the early 2000's. People are cutting back no matter that the TV pundits tell you that the 'recession is over' - its not and wont be for a long time. We used to send USPS packages to my family in England with cookies/candy etc. We cant afford to do that anymore so there's one less customer. Our area has to accept that the day of the Microsoft millionaire is long gone and adjust the taxes to suit. Cut the fat. People are being taxed out of their comfort zone and basic services like the Post Office are suffering.
Helen Clifford said, "Yeah, the world has sure changed!"
Speak out: How will this change affect you? Will you miss getting mail on Saturdays? Post a comment below.