Calling the six-days-per-week mail delivery business model "no longer sustainable," the U.S. Postal Service announced this morning 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 on Saturdays.
The reasons are continued economic struggles and the increasing use of the Internet for communications and bill paying by consumers, according to the USPS. The U.S. Postal Service also is 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."
Cutbacks have already affected the local post office. Nearly a year ago, USPS announced the agency's mail processing operation in Cartersville's Liberty Drive post office, which employed 23, would shut down and move to Atlanta. At that time, USPS has proposed legislative reforms, including delivering mail five instead of six days a week.
Speak out: How will the change affect you? Will you miss getting mail on Saturdays?
Saturday is the lightest mail delivery day by volume and many businesses are closed on Saturdays, according to USPS. However, many residents receive print magazines and ads on Saturdays in the mail that may be shifted to another day.
A Rasmussen poll on mail delivery in 2012 showed "Three-out-of-four Americans (75%) 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.
While some locals say they'll miss getting mail on Saturdays, others say not at all.
"No—best business plan.... Finally the government uses common sense in [making] smart decisions to save money!" said Lori Wade Bell on Bartow Buzzard's Facebook page.
Tina Norris said she mostly gets junk mail from USPS, opting to do her
"most important stuff...paperless and online."
But those who buy and sell online may be affected by the delivery change.
"I sell on Ebay so I have items that need to go out on Sat.," said Cindy Banks. "I guess the customers will get use to it."
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