The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced that it is ending Saturday delivery in August of this year. While your local post office will still deliver packages on Saturdays, letters will only be delivered Monday through Friday, leaving many to turn to alternatives such as email and Internet faxing services. Email is already the alternative that has led to a huge decline in traditional snail mail, crippling USPS with a loss of tens of billions of dollars in most recent years. USPS estimates that it will save approximately $2 billion annually with this plan.
Says Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe, “The American public understands the financial challenges of the Postal Service and supports these steps as a responsible and reasonable approach to improving our financial situation. The Postal Service has a responsibility to take the steps necessary to return to long-term financial stability and ensure the continued affordability of the U.S. Mail.”
This is not the first time that the Postal Service has moved to cease Saturday mail delivery, but congress has consistently rejected the request to do so. This announcement was brazenly made without congressional approval because, postal officials argue, the Postal Service is now operating under a temporary spending measure, which expires next month. Congress previously disallowed a plan to cancel Saturday delivery under an appropriations bill. The USPS relies solely on the sales of postage, as well as products and services, for funding and does not receive any tax dollars.
But, argue some, with most of the nation using email as their main form of communication, the need for regular mail service is becoming increasingly unnecessary, and may be the domino effect that causes everyone to seek even more web-based and electronic means of communication. Even original signatures, which has remained the crux of the need for letter delivery service, are now being accepted electronically. And in many cases where an original signature is still needed, people have other delivery service options, such as FedEx and UPS.
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For more information on how this change may affect your area, visit the USPS website.
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