The project and website have received publicity in more than 75 newspapers around the country, including the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Ventura Star, Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, the Oakland Tribune, the Seattle Times, and others. It has also been featured in television stories, travel publications, and on travel websites. We’ve received comments about the project, both on survey cards and unsolicited emails and postcards. Here’s a sample of what people are saying.
SoCal Restaurant Show – May 14, 2016 – see article (and audio recording of show)
There is a new, au courant way to experience America’s Riviera, Santa Barbara. The Santa Barbara Car Free Project invites visitors to show their Amtrak train tickets and enjoy car free fun (with special discounts) in Santa Barbara. Laura Kath with Santa Barbara Car Free joins us with all the needed 411.
“Start your vacation when you get on the train! Relax on your trip to Santa Barbara, then show your Amtrak ticket to our partners for some amazing experiences.”
There is something to be said about visiting a city car free. Hoofing it, breathing in the local culture and taking local transportation can get you right into the spirit of the location you are visiting. Santa Barbara has made it easy for you to discover the city without having to get yourself behind the wheel of your car. Come onboard and visit Santa Barbara Car Free experience. Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner has better facilitated getting to Santa Barbara from environs as far south as San Diego. Boarding the train in Van Nuys gave us the opportunity to enjoy the scenic coastline from Oxnard to Santa Barbara in about two hours. The ride is relaxing…
…We are so attuned to spending so much time in our cars, it is literally a breath of fresh air to visit Santa Barbara car free. It also makes for good exercise. You will not regret leaving your car at home or getting away from the rush hour traffic that accumulates on Highway 101 or the Interstate 405.
VacationIdea Magazine – April 22, 2016 – see article
…The downtown area has its own offerings for those looking for a fun night out. The trolley carries visitors to the shopping district, full of more artistic venues, fine restaurants, and the famous Urban Wine Trail. The nearby Amtrak station can transport visitors to a variety of locations along the seaside. Part of the Santa Barbara Car Free Project, there are special discounts to those making the effort to sightsee without the use of a car in order to take part in eco-friendly vacationing.
WINEormous – April 20, 2016 – see article
Santa Barbara holds a special place in my heart and when I heard about the Car Free Santa Barbara program, I jumped at the opportunity to check it out. The premise is that if you get yourself to Santa Barbara, you won’t need a car. I’m here to tell you that’s true. We boarded the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner in Oceanside on a Monday morning for the roughly five-hour trip to Santa Barbara…We kept commenting on what a joy it was not to be behind the wheel and stuck in traffic. The time flew by and before we knew it we had arrived at our destination.
Dine with Mel and Ronnie – April 9, 2016 – see blog
Showcasing the best that Santa Barbara has to offer, the “Car-Free” way is an easy, fun and unique way to get there. Once there just show your train ticket to receive discounts for hotels, dining, and the many special attractions that make Santa Barbara a premier vacation spot.
We parked our car at the station in Chatsworth, and boarded the Amtrak Northbound Pacific Surfliner . We sat, back in our comfortable seats, relaxed, and took in the incredible scenery unfolding before our eyes. In Business Class we enjoyed coffee, tea and sweet rolls during our early departure, arriving Santa Barbara in style in a little over 2 hours…
vittles & vintages voyages blog – April 7, 2016 – see blog
We climbed on to Amtrak’s Surfliner Train 761 and it was All Aboard for Santa Barbara. This was the start of our exploration of Santa Barbara’s 2016 Car Free promotion which offers train passengers savings on many of the amenities and activities that abound in this City. We arrived at the scenic Santa Barbara Train Station just two hours later ready to start two days of activities. Visitors like us, by showing their train tickets, can take advantage of savings on hotels, wine tasting, city tours, cycling and sailing…
NBC Los Angeles – April 5, 2016 – see article
… The 2016 dates are Saturday, April 16 and Sunday, April 17, and Alameda Park will once again be the heart of the recycling, energy-saving fun times. If you arrive by bike on either day — or on foot, or by Pogo Stick, or on a skateboard — you can enter a contest that includes a trip aboard the Amtrak Coast Starlight alllll the way up to Portland or Seattle, and back, in no less than your own private “roomette.” Are meals gratis, too, on the train? You bet. The deal with the contest, which is hosted by the Santa Barbara Car Free Project, is you’ll need to arrive at the fest in a not-car, so if that is on a bike, a unicycle, or by jogging in, well, that’s a-okay. Just be sure to enter while there. There are other goodies, too, to win via your non-car arrival, including Amtrak Surfliner tickets, Santa Barbara Trolley Company tour passes, or a tour of Butterfly Beach, for two, via Segways. To eye all, and plot your grand, auto-less entrance to one of the majorest of the Earth Day festivals, pop a wheelie over here.
www.SantaBarbaraCarFree.org Press Release – April 4, 2016 – see pdf
Santa Barbara, California—The Santa Barbara Car Free Project announced that people arriving without a car to the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival on April 16 & 17, 2016 at Alameda Park, can register to win prizes—including the Grand Prize: round-trip tickets for two from Santa Barbara to Seattle or Portland aboard the Amtrak Coast Starlight in a private roomette with incredible scenic views and meals included.
…The Air Pollution Control District/Santa Barbara Car Free booth will be located near the park entrance at Anacapa and Micheltorena streets (near the bike valet parking provided by Bici Centro/Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition). Mary Byrd, Project Manager with the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD), the lead agency for the car free partnership notes, “Begin your Earth Day Festival experience by taking the train to Santa Barbara; or consider walking, biking, or taking the bus or electric shuttle to Alameda Park. Enjoy getting in touch with your community and contributing to cleaner air and a healthier planet. Be sure to stop by our booth and register to win amazing prizes.”
Examiner.com – April 2, 2016 – see article
We boarded Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner business class car in Oceanside, California, and sat back with our traveling companions to relax and enjoy the ride. Our destination was the glorious seaside paradise of Santa Barbara, sometimes called the “American Riviera.” We would travel there in comfort and style with no worries about traffic back-ups around LA or parking woes when we arrived at our destination. Thanks to our Santa Barbara Car Free tickets, our biggest concern was whether we would drink red or white wine during our journey…
…On the one hand you need to get to your destination, somehow — spoiler alert — and cars have a very handy way of making that dream a reality. On the other hand once your car is there, with you, at the place you want to chillax, there’s the figuring out where to put it, and how much it’ll be to put it there, and if you take it out of where you put it how much it’ll be to put it somewhere else, like a restaurant or attraction. Finding that restaurant or attraction, from your homebase of your hotel, can be more delightfully, and money-saving-ly, done on foot, of course, or with public transport. Questions, question, should I take the car or should I not, if I plan to walk a lot. Santa Barbara sweetly helps out the traveler in this querying regard, each and every year, via the Santa Barbara Car Free program. It’s back around, for 2016, and the savings and suggestions are plentiful, and earth-nice-able, as always.
www.SantaBarbaraCarFree.org Press Release — February 1, 2016 — see pdf
Santa Barbara, California— The Santa Barbara Car Free Project invites visitors to show their train tickets and enjoy car free fun in Santa Barbara. The new 2016 offer features specials on wine tasting, sailing cruises, horseback riding, and bicycling as well as hotel savings, amenities and more. Mary Byrd, Manager of the award-winning project at the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District stated, “Start your vacation when you get on the train! Relax on your trip to Santa Barbara, then show your Amtrak ticket to our partners for some amazing experiences”…
The Orange County Register – October 22, 2015 – see article
…We narrowed our destination options based on the train schedule, settling on Santa Barbara. While planning the trip, I found a website called Santa Barbara Car Free, which offers Amtrak discounts and promotes attractions that can be reached by foot, electric shuttle or, in our case, by stroller and Ergo baby carrier. I booked our tickets through the site and saved 20 percent.
NBC Los Angeles – October 22, 2015 – see article
…Santa Barbara Car Free is behind the come-together happening, which is all about “people-powered movement,” something that fits well with a city that’s much associated with the founding of Earth Day. It is a movement, for sure, and with the rise of bike lanes and pedestrian plazas, we’re bound to see more gatherings that puts feet on the streets, as opposed to tires and tracks. Taking the train there, with your bike, for some bleach-close wheeling? That sounds like a fine October Saturday to us. Just don’t let a zombie getcha.
Santa Barbara Seasons – September 26, 2015 – see article
The Santa Barbara Car Free Project offers the 2015 “Your Ticket to Santa Barbara Free Car Experiences,” which features savings and special offers for everything from wine tasting, sailing cruises, horseback riding, and bicycle tours, as well as hotel savings and more…Fourteen Amtrak trains arrive to/depart from Santa Barbara every day including the Coast Starlight, which goes from Los Angeles to Seattle, and the Pacific Surfliner, which goes from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. Several special offers and discounts are available. Santa Barbara Car Free is an award-winning project founded and led by the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District with more than 100 community partners who are dedicated to making car free vacations care-free.
NBC Los Angeles – March 27, 2015 – see article
Santa Barbara Car Free is a coalition that keeps the discounts, deals, and specials coming via dozens of local businesses. That is, of course, if you’ve taken the train to the American Riviera and have a ticket to show for your ride. It’s an ongoing good thing that is good-thing-ing up the remainder of 2015, through New Year’s Eve. Once you have that ticket and you start waving it around town you’ll find a whole bunch of discounted doings to enjoy, like free admission at Casa Dolores (eye thousands of ancient objects made of clay, wood, and more at the museum) and a 2-for-1 wine tasting. There are also discounts on things that move, from bikes to boats, so save a few bucks on Santa Barbara Trolley Tours, fifty bucks off per couple at Segway of Santa Barbara, and thirty percent off at Wheel Fun Rentals of Santa Barbara (those charming surreys are symbolic of playtime close to the shore). So, you train it into town, only to save on other stuff that moves? Wise, very wise.
Examiner – February 18, 2015 – see article
With the warm spring-like weather we’re experiencing in Los Angeles, a trip to Santa Barbara’s seashore sounds like a ticket to ride. And it is with the city ramping up its “Your Ticket to Santa Barbara Car Free Experiences” offer with wine tasting, sailing cruises, horseback riding, bicycle and walking tours as well as hotel savings, amenities and more. All you need to do is take the train, show your Amtrak ticket and you’re in for some mighty fine deal. Besides cutting costs while you’re there, you’ll also save a bundle on gas since prices at the pump are on the rise again.
Green Traveler Guides – December 22, 2014 – see article
A group of enterprising developers, architects, designers and restauranteurs saw the gaping hole in this international tourist destination: they decided to fill it with green construction and businesses, and a non-corporate-driven hospitality industry…[The Hotel Indigo] is set up for green exploration. Free cruiser bikes for guests, as well as discounts for those who arrive car-free (part of its alliance with the Santa Barbara Car Free initiative)…
Frommers – November 12, 2014 – see article
We had not been on a train in years, so when invited to experience a weekend getaway on the rails that was “drive free,” we jumped at the opportunity… A nice accompaniment to the Amtrak Santa Barbara Car Free getaway is the many establishments that provide discounts to Amtrak ticket holders. Get a list of who is participating from www.SantaBarbaraCarFree.org. The website also provides insight into what is available to do while in Santa Barbara.
Orange County Register – October 1, 2014 – see article
…“Car Free Santa Barbara” offers 20 percent off Amtrak fares, and other discounts as well. Note that kids ride for half price on Amtrak all the time. The website also offers lodging and things to do that will give you a discount if you show your Amtrak ticket. Learn more here: Santabarbaracarfree.org…
KEYT – June 25,2014 – see video
AMTRAK has a summertime deal for travelers that could save them some vacation dollars.
The Coast Starlight passengers traveling from areas north of Santa Barbara can get a 15 percent discount.
They will also be qualified for an array of bargains when they arrive in Santa Barbara under -what’s called a – “Car Free” program as they go on tours, whale watching, visit museum or take bike rides. That’s coordinated through the Air Pollution Control District…
Sydney Morning Herald – June 5, 2014 – see article
18 GREEN CITY
Santa Barbara prides itself on its environmental consciousness, actively encouraging visitors to explore the city on foot or bicycle via the community-led Santa Barbara Car Free Project…
Noozhawk.com – May 20, 2014 – see post
Hugh Kelly was the grand prize winner of the Santa Barbara Car Free Earth Day drawing this year, winning a pair of round-trip tickets to Portland or Seattle on the Amtrak Coast Starlight — with roomette accommodations and meals included.
Kelly, who biked to Earth Day, is president of the board of the Mesa Harmony Garden, a collaborative volunteer effort to convert unused land to a food forest to grow food and donate it to local organizations that serve people in need, such as the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.
Kelly embodies the “Local Roots” theme of this year’s Santa Barbara Earth Day, and is actively implementing two key initiatives highlighted this year by the Community Environmental Council, which presents the event: “Drive Less” and “Eat Local.”
Examiner.com – May 2, 2014 – see post
With gas prices soaring and freeway traffic worse than ever taking trains seems like a no brainer. And to entice folks to ride the rails rather than gas-guzzling cars and trucks, Santa Barbara is running a Show your Train Ticket promotion that gives you free entry to many local attractions.
Launched in celebration of National Train Day and the 75th anniversary of Los Angeles Union Station on May 3, 2014, the promotion features everything from bicycle tours, kayak adventures, unique hotel gifts, walking tours, wine tastings and more…
US Airways In-Fight Magazine – April, 2014 – see page 88 of Magazine
Enjoy the sights, scenes, and tastes of Santa Barbara from the comfort of your sneaks…Santa Barbara Car Free, founded and led by Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, has more than 100 community partners to help you make the most of your car free experience.
NBCLA – April 17, 2014 – see post
…And we say “rethink your mode of arrival” because the Santa Barbara Car-Free Project is quite the active organization, throughout the year, but definitely when it comes time for the springtime celebration of all our planet. The project is sweetening the prospect of attending for people, with a chance at prizes for those who leave their vehicle back home and show up at Alameda Park on Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27 without their usual vroom-vroom…”
LA Daily News – February 13, 2014 – see post
…”Jamzilla” is making another appearance on the San Diego Freeway. Might be a good time to get out of town. And Pali Wine Co. and Amtrak have come up with a pretty nifty package. It’s called the “Train-Crossed Lovers” promotion and includes a discounted train ticket from the Los Angeles area to Santa Barbara. The discount is available at SantaBarbaraCarFree.org…
LA Times – February 11, 2014 – see post
…Pali Wine Co. has you covered with a special Valentine offer dubbed “Train Crossed Lovers.” For the upcoming long holiday weekend complete with another I-405 closure, the Santa Barbara tasting room is offering a Valentine’s Day special to anyone who arrives like the folks on Downtown Abbey — by train. Amtrak is getting in on the act with a 20% discount on Pacific Surfliner trains…
NBCLA – January 29, 2014 – see post
…And it involves the rails, which should stoke everyone’s romantic definition of getting out of town. Register at Santa Barbara Car Free and nab 20% reservations on an Amtrak Pacific Surfliner ride into the American Riviera …We do love when the getting to some place — and the getting home — boasts significant savings, and we love when it has an eco-nice theme to it, too…