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.
Those polled by Prospect Heights Patch called the cutback a smart move.
“I really would not even notice if my mail were not delivered on Saturday,” said Kerry Robertson, an art director for Martha Stewart Living who lives on Eastern Parkway.
“I think it’s a good thing,” said Alice Fox, who manages a dental office on Grand Army Plaza. “I think the post office really needs to tighten up and get out of the red.
Christina Kirkland, who also works at the dental office, was relieved that Saturday package delivery will continue, since being home to receive a package is already a challenge.
“I have to find sneaky ways to get my packages delivered,” she said. “I’m also a pet sitter and a lot of us make friends with doormen, have our packages delivered there and give them a tip at the end of the year.”
“I mostly get junk mail,” agreed Deborah Adams, an executive assistant who lives in Starrett City. “Pretty much everything important I do by e-mail.”
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 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.