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USPS cuts Saturdays. Mail delivery ends Aug. 1 (+video)

USPS cuts Saturdays and will end weekend mail delivery Aug. 1 in order to trim costs. The USPS will continue package delivery on Saturdays. 

By Pauline JelinekAssociated Press / February 6, 2013

The entrance of a United States Post Office is seen in Manhasset, New York last August. The USPS cuts Saturdays, beginning in August.

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters/File

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Washington

The USPS will cut Saturdays but continue to deliver packages six days a week under a plan aimed at saving about $2 billion, the financially struggling agency says.

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The US Postal Service will end Saturday delivery of regular mail on Aug. 1, but will continue to deliver packages.

In an announcement scheduled for later Wednesday, the postal service is expected to say the Saturdays mail cuts 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 Saturdays.

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.

It was not immediately clear how the service could eliminate Saturday mail without congressional approval.

But the agency clearly thinks it has a majority of the American public on its side regarding the change.

Material prepared for the Wednesday press 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.

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