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.
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 announcement comes on the heels of the closing of the post office at the Galloway Township Municipal Complex on Jan. 1. The township has since approved a resolution allowing the Galloway Historical Society to occupy that building.
"This is another blow," said Galloway resident Anna Jezycki, who led the drive to keep the post office open at the municipal complex. "... They're putting people out of work on Saturdays, and it puts more pressure on the residents.
"Now you have four days being cut out (of the month), so when you mail something out, that's four less days for it to get there. And if you have a holiday that month, that pushes you further back, and you're going to get charged with late fees. ... When you recalculate, you better calculate correctly or your bills will be late."
Galloway resident Steve Korchan agreed that Wednesday's announcement creates a bigger inconvenience. Neither Jezycki or Korchan pay their bills online.
"They're cutting back all over," Korchan said outside ShopRite Wednesday morning. "It hurts senior citizens that aren't computer saavy. It's more of a burden. (Not getting mail on Saturday) will have a big impact if you're waiting for documentation in the mail. You're already waiting, and now it's two more days. Now you're hoping if it doesn't show up by the weekend, it shows up on Monday."
Others in the community didn't feel the same way.
"We have no problem with it," said Harry Wolverton, of Galloway, as he and his wife Dot entered ShopRite on Jimmie Leeds Road Wednesday morning. "It's a way to save money."
"Maybe it will get the post office out of debt," Dot Wolverton said.
"I pay almost all my bills online," said Chris Daisey, an Atlantic City resident eating at Barista's Coffeehouse Wednesday morning.
Daisey worked for the U.S. District Courts before retiring, and said when she retired, her position wasn't replaced.
"They should just not replace the people who retire (to save money)," Daisey said. " ... They have to cut back somehow."
"They have to do something," said a Galloway resident outside ShopRite who wished to remain anonymous. "It's a good thing. They'll save a ton of money. I don't know why they didn't do this years ago."
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.
Speak out: How will this change affect you? Will you miss getting mail on Saturdays?