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Heads Up: Saturday Mail Delivery to End

The U.S. Postal Service announced it will end Saturday mail delivery by Aug. 1. Speak out: How will this affect you?

Calling the six-days-per-week mail delivery business model “no longer sustainable,” the U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday 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.

South Salem resident Geri Dragone told Patch Wednesday morning that the impact would not be great to her personally, but the postal decision was a sign of the times.

"I do pay some bills online, but I am old-school and still pay some by check through the mail," said Dragone, who moved to the area about a year and a half ago. "Will it affect me that much? Probably not, but it reminds me of how much the Internet has changed everything. I hope 10 years from now we still have books."

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,” their website reads.

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 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.

How will this change affect you? Will you miss getting mail on Saturdays?

dave watanabe February 10, 2013 at 03:37 PM
i'm sad the postal service is discontinuing service on Saturdays. For many working people, it is the day they can get to the PO to mail packages, etc. Most of our small PO's don't have an DIY package system. I'd like to suggest that instead of inconvenient penny stamp raises, raise the price 25 cents all at once. They could issue Senior Discount Cards and exempt them and the needy. I for one think the USPS does a superior job and has the best prices when it comes to mailing packages. I recently took a package to UPS that I thought was too big for the PO and they wanted over 100 dollars to send it. I then took it to my local post office and they said it was within their size restrictions and it cost half that price. I also find that when I receive a package, it is delivered considerably fast by USPS than UPS.
Joy February 10, 2013 at 06:21 PM
Local post offices will remain open for business on Saturdays. If you read the second paragraph of the article it states: ".... local post offices will remain open for business Saturdays." Also only 1st class mail will not be delivered on Saturday. "Packages, mail-order medicines, priority and express mail would still be delivered on Saturdays,"
James Adnaraf February 10, 2013 at 07:29 PM
According to the laws under which it now operates, the U.S. Postal Service is a semi-independent federal agency, mandated to be revenue-neutral. That is, it is supposed to break even, not make a profit. That is not some recent law, caused by one evil political party or the other. It cannot continue to lose the massive amounts it is losing. We simply do not rely on it the way we used to, as a result of the internet. Tough choices have to be made. The Saturday non delivery choice is a good decision, brought about by the reality of changes in the need for the post office. In fact, we can expect more emphasis on delivery of packages, in competition with FEDEX and UPS, and a continued de-emphasis on first class letters.
James Adnaraf February 10, 2013 at 08:32 PM
I think there should be struggling young family discounts, instead of senior citizen discounts.
Lisa Buchman February 11, 2013 at 12:11 AM
@dave: The post office will still be open on Saturdays (see second paragraph) but the mail carrier won't be picking up or delivering letters at home.

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