It’s been in the talks for several years. In August, the U.S. Postal Service will stop delivering mail to street addresses on Saturdays. It will continue to deliver packages as well as mail addressed to post office boxes six days a week.
Dionne Montague is with the U.S. Postal Service in Houston. She says USPS has been losing $25 million per day due to the decline in First Class Mail.
“We can no longer afford to sustain operations with these kind of losses. We have reached our borrowing ceiling, so we do not have the ability to borrow any more money and we’re still being required to make these payments.”
She says there has been a 14 percent increase in package service, however.
In Houston, the delivery schedule change is expected to save $82 million. Montague says the savings will come from realigning schedules, and no staff will be laid off. The workforce is only being reduced by attrition, which means that retiring personnel won’t be replaced.
A 2010 Gallup poll found that a strong majority of Americans support the reduction of mail delivery days when offered several alternatives for the Postal Service to save money.
Jewel Garrett, a customer at the downtown post office on Franklin Street, says she doesn’t mind the change because five days per week delivery is enough for her.
“If that will help them to alleviate the problem, I’d much rather see them do that than to raise the stamp rate some more. We’ve had enough of that.”
Another customer, Lynn Porche, says she really likes getting Saturday mail and is upset about the change.
“As a mother you want to make sure people get Saturday mail for invitations to parties and stuff. I mean you could always count on the post office to delivering Saturday mail, so I guess we’ll have to plan a little bit better.”
Since 2006, the Postal Service has reduced its annual costs by about $15 billion, reduced its staff by 193,000 and has consolidated more than 200 mail processing locations.