Days Are Numbered for Saturday Mail Delivery
July 22, 2011
Falling mail volume and soaring red ink may soon doom Saturday mail delivery and prompt three-day-a-week delivery within 15 years, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe warns, says USA Today.
- Donahoe's forecast is based on a projected $8.3 billion loss this year as the drift from paper to electronic communication hammers the Postal Service.
- "On Sept. 30," he told USA Today, "I won't be able to pay my bills."
- Chief among them: a $5.5 billion payment due Sept. 30 to cover future retirees' health benefits.
- Mail carriers have been making rounds six days a week since the 19th century.
- After postmasters started talking about cutting back, Congress mandated the six-day delivery in 1983.
- The Postal Service estimates stopping Saturday mail delivery would save $3.1 billion a year.
Asked about the long term, Donahoe said, "At some point, we'll have to move to three" days a week of mail delivery, possibly in 15 years.
Source: Carly Mallenbaum, "Postmaster Says Days Are Numbered for Saturday Mail Delivery," USA Today, July 20, 2011.
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