12/02/2011 12:25 pm ET

L Train Weekend Outages Hurting Businesses In Williamsburg

Last weekend (a holiday weekend, one of the busiest travel weekend of the year), the L train was out of service for the whole weekend, frustrating thousands in that East-West corridor connecting North Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Of course, this wasn't a surprise to the straphangers who depend on the train. The MTA's shut down the L for the weekend 10 times since July. And now, Williamsburg business owners are beginning to feel the effect.

From The New York Daily News:

"When I check my numbers, and I see a significant drop, that means the L train wasn't working," said Misha Anderson, co-founder of the Woodley & Bunny hair salon on N. 10th Street, four blocks north of the Bedford Aveune stop on the L.

"Don't they know how these cuts impact North Brooklyn?" she asked. "In February, no one will want to walk here from the (J and M) trains on Broadway."

Anderson said she loses about $20,000 in sales each time the train is shut down due to the weekend repairs. It's made her sympathetic to store owners along the proposed Second Avenue subway route on the Upper East Side."

That Williamsburg has transformed into a tourist destination has contributed to record ridership on the weekends. Since 1998, the MTA recorded a 141 percent increase in Saturday/Sunday passengers.

In October, State Senator Daniel Squadron announced riders will see an increase in frequency of L trains starting in mid-2012.

The cash-strapped MTA has been struggling for years to find effective ways to repair the city's aging subway system. A shortage in funds, however, has contributed to slowdown.