To some's chagrin, Saturday postal delivery could be eliminated

By Emily Luxen

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - In an effort to save money, the U.S. Postal Service is considering eliminating Saturday service in an effort to save money. Officials said they have been hit hard by the economy, and the service is facing a $7 billion loss this year.

U.S. Postal Service officials said Saturday is the lightest delivery day of the week.

If the proposal passes, post offices would remain open, but mail would not be processed that day. They admit it is a tough decision to make, but drastic times call for drastic measures.     

"The reality is we can't afford to deliver 6 days a week anymore," said Post Office Spokesman Joseph Breckenridge, "The volume of mail just isn't there, and the amount of income isn't sufficient to pay the costs."

Officials said they believe stopping Saturday delivery is a better option than increasing rates. Some Birmingham business owners disagree. They believe the change would affect their customers.

"We have some vendors that use mail for delivery because it is smaller packages," said the Once Upon a Time's owner, Linda Flaherty.  "A lot of times we need that delivery on Saturday, because someone has a shower gift they ordered or a christening gift," she added.

Birmingham area residents have mixed opinions about the idea.

"It's a bad idea," said Rosa Isom,"If you don't have Saturday delivery, it holds everything up."

"From a business point of view, I don't think there would be a major impact," said Gerald Austin, "I think with the economy the way it is, you got to look for ways to alleviate some of the expenditures."

The idea is still just a proposal.  For this to happen, the U.S. Postal Service would need the approval of Congress and the President, and officials say they don't know when that will happen.

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