Postal Service should shutter offices and Saturday delivery, GAO says

Postal service may end on SaturdaysGetting mail on Saturday and the convenience of your local post office may soon be a thing of the past.

The U.S. Postal Service is dealing with a $297 million loss in the first quarter of its fiscal year and needs to make deep cuts in jobs, wages and outsource operations, the Government Accountability Office reported in the Washington Post. The government report agreed with prior USPS statements that the agency should close post offices and kill Saturday delivery to save money.

However, Ruth Goldway, chairwoman of the Postal Regulatory Commission said killing Saturday delivery was "not a done deal." Goldway said she and her commissioners were hoping to make sure the "case for the six-day delivery" will be heard and then make a non-binding advisory decision after hearing all the arguments.
Losing money is nothing new for the USPS, which has lost $12 billion in the last three years -- and has been greatly affected by the recession, the rising use of e-mail and competition with FedEx and United Parcel Service. The drastic changes are part of the USPS 10-year proposed plan that will be placed before Congress.

If changes are not made, according to the GAO, it could lead to a taxpayer bailout for the troubled postal service. In case you're wondering, that's approximately $7 billion in the fiscal year ending in September.

When informed of the impending loss of Saturday mail delivery, several people seemed surprised at the news. "What? They're canceling Saturday delivery?" asked Emily Jiang, 34, a writer from Palo Alto, Calif. "I like knowing I will get mail on Saturday -- it's like a nice bonus mail day."

Kathleen Howat, an advertising sales and marketing manager in Long Beach, Calif. was not as bothered. "I am fine without Saturday delivery. The only thing I will miss is my NetFlix deliveries, but it will give me something to look forward to on Monday. People are using electronic formats more so (the postal service needs) to look at ways to adjust and save money."

If you are unhappy about the proposed changes, you should go to the Postal Regulatory Commission Web site and write your comments electronically using the customer service form. Concerned citizens can also contact their local representative in Congress.
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