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 August 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 currently open on Saturday will continue to open for business.
Reaction was mixed at post offices in Rockland. Customers at the New City Post Office reacted negatively to the news.
"That's horrible," said Larrissa Jones of Pomona. "I wouldn't agree with that. There are alot of things we wait for mailwise that come on Saturday."
New City resident Ellyn Talan said," No, not happy about that. Saturday delivery is good for people that work."
Ed Fabry did not like the idea but said he understood why it was happening.
"Well, I don't like it," said the New City resident. "I realize it's a matter of money."
That was the feeling a Pearl River resident shared when asked if he was concerned about the decreased number of delivery days.
"Not at all," said Patrick Holt. "Glad to see them do something about bleeding money."
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,” the Postal Service said in its statement.
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.