Rural post offices across the country will remain open but with shorter hours. The announcement came today during a news conference where Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said the decision comes after wide concerns from rural residents who opposed the closing of thousands of post offices.

Rural post offices in Selman City and Cuney in East Texas were on the list of hundreds of Texas facilities scheduled for closure this year.

The new plan does not include the scheduled closings though of some 223 mail-sorting facilities across the country. Many of those facilities will be moved and consolidated in other cities.

The new plan will save the mail agency half a billion dollars each year. Previously, up to 3,700 low-revenue post offices were slated for closure or consolidation beginning sometime after May 15, many in rural areas. It was part of a multibillion-dollar postal cost-cutting effort to stave off the agency’s bankruptcy.

The Postal Service now plans to seek regulatory approval for the new plan and get community input, a process that could take several months.