America's Future: Mail Delivery Just 3 Days a Week

At least, that's what the postmaster general predicts
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2011 9:26 AM CDT
Postal worker Daryl Ha pushes his cart up a hill while delivering mail in the North Beach area of San Francisco, Wednesday, May 11, 2011.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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(Newser) – We live in the age of instant communication, thanks to Skype, Twitter, smartphones, and three-day-a-week mail delivery? That could be our odd reality in as few as 15 years, according to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. In comments made to USA Today, Donahue explains that the Postal Service is anticipating an $8.3 billion loss this year. "On Sept. 30, I won't be able to pay my bills," he says, adding that he wants to see reduced service, and he thinks Congress may finally be willing to give up Saturdays ... as a start.

Americans have been checking the mailbox six days a week since the 1800s, and Congress mandated that delivery schedule in 1983. But Donahoe thinks Congress is ready to OK just five-day service, a move that would save an estimated $3.1 billion annually; Democratic Sen. Tom Carper has introduced legislation that would allow Donahoe to make the cut to five. What's next? "At some point, we'll have to move to three" days of mail delivery each week, says Donahoe, perhaps in as little as 15 years.

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