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Plan To End Saturday Mail Delivery Overstates Costs, Report Says

Mar 24, 2011

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While the U.S. Postal Service estimates that ending Saturday delivery of mail would save $3.1 billion a year, the Postal Regulatory Commission issued a report today saying that figure overstates the savings by about $1.4 billion annually.

The commission also concluded, Chairman Ruth Goldway tells NPR's Brian Naylor, that "the Postal Service is going to have more problems than it anticipates with bunching up of the mail" if Saturday deliveries are ended.

"When you take Saturday and you move it into five days you're going to create peaks and valleys, problems with transportation that they haven't acknowledged," she says. "They think they're going to be able to absorb all this mail on Monday with no problem."

And another problem, Goldway says, is that the Postal Service "ignored the impact on rural America" in its proposal for five day delivery.

The commission's report is an advisory opinion on the no-Saturday proposal. It did not issue a yeah-or-nay position on the proposal.

The Postal Regulatory Commission "is an independent agency that has exercised regulatory oversight over the Postal Service since its creation by the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970."

As The Associated Press reminds us, "Congress [where there has been opposition to the idea] will have the final say on whether Saturdays become mail-free, and last year it asked the regulatory agency to study the matter."

Last year, AP adds, the Postal Service lost $8.5 billion.

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