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Santa Barbara Car Free! Project Information

Download PDF flyer about the project.

Mission Statement  
The project's mission is to encourage car free, carefree travel to and around Santa Barbara for cleaner air and a healthier planet.

Santa Barbara Car Free is a cooperative project initiated and led by the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, with support from the City of Santa Barbara, Amtrak California®, and many other partners. More than 100 agencies, organizations, associations, businesses and individuals have been meeting since 1998 to discuss and implement the mission. The project encourages visitors to arrive car free–or if they choose to drive, to park their cars and enjoy the area car free.

Awards and Recognition for Santa Barbara Car Free

  • 2009 National Clean Air Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air Act Advisory. The project was one of only 15 initiatives recognized in the U.S., and one of only 2 in California. See pictures and more info on photogallery page.
  • 2004 Environmental Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 on April 20, 2004. The project was one of nine initiatives recognized in California, and one of thirty-six recognized in all of Region 9, which encompasses several states.
  • 2004 Marketing Excellence Award for “Best Niche Marketing: Eco-Tourism” from California Travel and Tourism Commission March 24, 2004, at the annual California Tourism Conference.

Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District and the project also were recognized in Profiles of Local Clean Air Innovation (2003, the National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals). The project is featured in the books Walk Santa Barbara (2002, Olympus Press) and Fun with the Family in Southern California (2006, Globe Pequot Press), has been covered in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, San Diego Magazine, and more, and has been featured on travel websites, including National Geographic Traveler Online.


  • Website—extensive information on biking, walking, buses, shuttles, trains, planes, limos, taxis, boats, tours and suggested itineraries. Materials include downloadable maps, such as the “Red Tile Walking Tour,” “Santa Barbara’s Twelve Paseos,” and more.
  • “Discover Santa Barbara Car Free” vacation packages featuring discounts offered by hotel and activity partners to encourage visitors to travel to and around Santa Barbara car free.
  • Partnership with Amtrak, with savings offers on Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquins trains via the Car Free website, and working with Amtrak on specific promotions, and extending partnership to Metrolink for  promotions.
  • Santa Barbara Car Free map, and 50 Ways to Leave Your Car rack card distributed via shuttles, Visitor Centers, Amtrak, hotel and activity promotion partners, and others.

Santa Barbara Car Free project meetings are held on a regular basis to discuss activities and provide educational information about car-free options.

For More Information
Contact Mary Byrd, Project Manager, Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) Phone 805-961-8833, e-mail; or Laura Kath, Project Promotion Coordinator, Mariah Marketing, Phone 805-344-1717, email 

Download this info as a PDF file:  Project Facts.