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.
Post offices will remain open Saturdays and package deliveries will occur on Saturdays, according to the U.S. Postal Service.
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.”
U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D- Hopewell) said Wednesday that the Postal Service has done more than sell stamps and deliver letters. He said cutting Saturday delivery might mean short-term financial gain, it would sacrifice its most crucial long-term competitive edge.
"It has built communities, united citizens, and bound together our vast and diverse country," Holt said. "The USPS is not just another delivery service. Only the USPS goes, in effect, every day to every address, rich or poor, rural or urban, commercial or residential.”
Holt is a cosponsor of H.Res. 30, which expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that the U.S. Postal Service should maintain a six-day delivery schedule.
Princeton resident Verna Matthews was not pleased when she learned that Saturday mail delivery will soon stop.
"I think it stinks," she said. "A lot of people live for their mail."
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.