By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID
The Associated Press
Thursday, March 24, 2011; 2:07 PM
WASHINGTON -- The independent Postal Rate Commission says the U.S. Postal Service overstated its potential savings from eliminating Saturday mail delivery and failed to consider the impact on rural communities
The agency lost $8.5 billion last year and is seeking ways to cut costs, including a proposal to close local offices, reduce staff and eliminate Saturday delivery.
Congress will have the final say on whether Saturdays become mail-free, and last year it asked the regulatory agency to study the matter.
In Thursday's report, the PRC said the Postal Service estimate of savings from cutting Saturday delivery was overstated by $1.4 billion. In addition, it said the post office underestimated losses because of volume declines.