Postal Service to end Saturday mail
BY STEFANO ESPOSITO | Sun-Times Media February 14, 2013 8:47AM
Customers carry packages Friday into the Glenview Post Office. Unitied States Postal Service officials recently announced plans to cease first class delivery on Saturdays. | Geoff Scheerer~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 21, 2013 4:00PM
WINNETKA — Coupons for things you’d never dream of buying.
Solicitations not so cleverly disguised as: “Important Information. Open immediately.”
If that’s what is stuffed in your mailbox most days, or if you view paper correspondence as a quaint but outdated custom, you probably won’t care that the U.S. Postal Service plans to stop delivering mail — with the exception of packages — on Saturdays.
On the other hand, there’s Jennifer Vu, who still enjoys sending and receiving paper mail. She appeared stunned by the news.
“Oh my gosh — that’s surprising,” said Vu, 30, a River North physician dropping off her wedding invitations at the Fort Dearborn branch post office downtown Wednesday. “I’m not happy about it. It’s one less day to get mail. I already feel it’s difficult when you don’t get mail on Sunday.”
Outside of the Winnetka Post Office on Chestnut St. Friday afternoon a steady flow of customers visited with most saying they were sad to hear mail will only arrive on weekdays.
“I’m sad to see the diminishment of government services, but I’m retired so I’ll adjust,” said Winnetka resident Claudia Dancing.
Chicago resident Carol, who declined to give her last name, came out of the building with a few postal boxes and said she would pay closer attention to her bills.
“I don’t know if it will affect when payments arrive, but I think people will have to be more careful about sending in their bills,” Carol said.
The Postal Service’s new plan is intended to save about $2 billion, the financially struggling agency says.
The service announced last week that the Saturday mail cutback would begin in August.
The move accentuates one of the agency’s strong points — package delivery has increased by 14 percent since 2010, officials say, while the delivery of letters and other mail has declined with the increasing use of email and other Internet use.
Under the new plan, mail would still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays. Post offices now open on Saturdays would remain open on that day.
Over the past several years, the Postal Service has advocated shifting to a five-day delivery schedule for mail and packages — and it repeatedly but unsuccessfully appealed to Congress to approve the move. Though an independent agency, the service gets no tax dollars for its day-to-day operations but is subject to congressional control.
Material prepared for last week’s news conference by Patrick R. Donahoe, postmaster general and CEO, says Postal Service market research and other research has indicated that nearly 7 in 10 Americans support the switch to five-day delivery as a way for the Postal Service to reduce costs. ~.
Contributing: Steve Schering, Steve Metsch, AP