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.
redbook – April 18, 2017 – see article
“Park your car and take advantage of the trolley, water taxis, and bike paths while you’re in town — it’ll save you money on hotels, activities, and restaurants thanks to the city’s Car Free initiative. Plus, it’s gorgeous out in the summer months — or any month, really, as Santa Barbara boasts 300-plus days of sunshine each year — which means there’s plenty of time for hittin’ the beach, eating fish tacos (along the Taco Trail, of course), and sipping rosé on the Urban Wine Trail. And if you just can’t stay in one place, take a train or drive up to Los Angeles — it’s only an hour and a half away. “
What’s Cookin’ Today on CRN – February 23, 2017 – see interview
Laura Kath joins us to talk about a great program in Santa Barbara “Take the Train”. Encouraging visitors to soak up all that SB has to offer, and save money too!!
RootsRated – February 21, 2017 – see article
“All of the quintessential Santa Barbara experiences, from cruising along the beachside bike path to enjoying the region’s wineries and fine dining, are all entirely possible without a car. Thanks to a downtown with pleasantly walkable and rideable neighborhoods, convenient options for public transportation (trains, pedicabs, trolley, you name it), an Amtrak station just blocks from the coastline, and a wealth of resources available through Santa Barbara Car Free, you can leave the car at home (or at the hotel) for your entire stay.”
Santa Ynez Valley Star – February 21, 2017 – see article
“Santa Barbara visitors who arrive by train in 2017 can enjoy special entertainment deals by showing their train tickets.
The new “Take the Train” offer features “car-free specials” on bicycling, sailing cruises, horseback riding, museum and zoo visits, hotel savings and more.
‘Our partners are offering some great experiences when you arrive by train; just show your ticket when you check into a participating hotel for perks; then have more car-free fun such as a sailing excursion, whale watching, a walking food tour, a museum or zoo visit, and so much more,’ said Lyz Hoffman, coordinator of the award-winning Santa Barbara Car Free project at the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District.”
Macaroni Kid – February 20, 2017 – see article
“The Santa Barbara Car Free Project invites visitors to show their train tickets to Santa Barbara merchants, hotels and attractions and enjoy car free fun and experiences through December 31, 2017.
The new 2017 “Take the Train” offer features specials on bicycling, sailing cruises, horseback riding, museum and zoo visits as well as hotel savings and more…
Fourteen Amtrak trains arrive/depart Santa Barbara every day including the Coast Starlight (Los Angeles to Seattle) and the Pacific Surfliner (San Diego to San Luis Obispo).The train discount of 20% off is good for travel to/from any station in Santa Barbara County or from Ventura County including Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura, SB, Carpinteria, Goleta, Santa Maria, Buellton, Solvang, Lompoc, Surf, Guadalupe.”
M’Lisstravels.com – February 7, 2017 – see article
“Beaches, wine, contemporary food and modern hotels only begin to describe Santa Barbara, California. Known in the past for being a surfing city with palatial homes overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the “American Riviera” is inviting to vacationers…
Santa Barbara is easy to reach by Amtrak train, in fact, Santa Barbara participates in the Car Free project by partnering with businesses for discounts and suggestions to make your stay hassle free.
www.SantaBarbaraCarFree.org has more information about the special benefits of travelling car free by using Amtrak trains.”
The San Diego Union-Tribune – February 1, 2017 – see article
“Savvy San Diego travelers will hop Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner to get to and from Santa Barbara. For the first time in 14 years, Amtrak has added another train linking our cities; now there are five daily round trips. The Santa Barbara Car Free promotion offers a 20 percent discount on Surfliner tickets. (When we checked late last month, pre-discount round trips were running $84 for adults, half price for kids 2-12 years old.) To get the discount, tickets must be purchased three days before travel at a link on this website: www.santabarbaracarfree.org/train/#sbcf. Once you arrive in Santa Barbara, use your Surfliner ticket to get discounts on local activities and at attractions. Your Surfliner ticket will even get you free transportation on Santa Barbara buses and shuttles. Learn more at www.santabarbaracarfree.org.”
www.SantaBarbaraCarFree.org Press Release – February 1, 2017 – see pdf
Santa Barbara, California—The Santa Barbara Car Free Project invites visitors to show their train tickets to Santa Barbara and enjoy car free fun and experiences through December 31, 2017. The new 2017 “Take the Train” offer features specials on bicycling, sailing cruises, horseback riding, museum and zoo visits as well as hotel savings and more. Lyz Hoffman, Coordinator of the award-winning project at the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District remarked, “Our partners are offering some great experiences when you arrive by train; just show your ticket when you check into a participating hotel for perks; then have more car free fun such as a sailing excursion, whale watching, a walking food tour, a museum or zoo visit and so much more.”
The Post-Journal – January 1, 2017 – see article
“We departed San Diego on Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner traveling five hours along the coast to the town of Solvang where everything is centered in the Danish tradition — replicating true Danish architecture and customs. Then we’ll return to Santa Barbara, sometimes called the “American Riviera” with its seaside location, old missions, Spanish architecture, vineyards and endless things to do for visitors.
Traffic? What traffic? On board, relax in spacious seats and enjoy the scenery. Hugging the coast by train affords beautiful ocean vistas from windows on one side and mountain views on the other side of the train. Amtrak provides snacks with coffee, tea or wine. There is true luxury in being able to relax and not worry about driving a car in traffic. All this convenience for a ticket that costs far less than renting a car for even a day…
After an exciting four-day whirlwind trip, we hopped back on Amtrak and headed for San Diego and the flight home.
The return train ride gave me time to reflect on the extraordinary adventures that were revealed to me each of these four days. I began planning my next trip to this wondrous area.”
The Irish Times – August 13, 2016 – see article
“Dude, this is the greatest place on earth!” I’m sitting at an outdoor table, tucking into a salad of baby kale, avocado, dates and roasted almonds, all locally grown, of course. The guy sitting at the table next to me – perfect abs, ultra-white smile – is thrilled when I tell him I’m just visiting for a few days.
“Man! It’s so cool that you get to travel to places like this. You should stick around a while.” Because this is California and not the south of France, the preening smugness that comes with living la dolce vita is offset by a casual, friendly charm that both disarms me and makes me resentful I can’t stick around for any more than a few days.
What makes it worse is that all this privilege comes with a conscience, especially in relation to the environment. Almost everything comes with an eco prefix, from car-free initiatives to the enthusiastic embrace of the locavore movement.
National Jewish News – July 2016 – see article
Santa Barbara–“America’s Riviera”–sits on a prime Pacific perch overlooking sweeping vistas of the sea-wedged Santa Ynez Mountains. Basking in a flawless Mediterranean climate, the city of Santa Barbara lures visitors to this seaside sanctuary by a captivating blend of glistening palm-lined golden beaches, a thriving arts community, historic architecture, terraced vineyards, and exotic vegetation. Great weather, romantic spots, and weekend getaways abound in Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara Independent– June 25, 2016 – see article
So, what do bald eaglets have to do with cycling? Eagle parents have less than four months to teach their young everything they will need to survive in the world. That is their legacy. When we are young we think about our future, career, love, children, and family. As we get older thoughts turn to the legacy we leave behind when the bouncing dot turns into a straight line. I’m inspired by the legacies that others are leaving to our cycling community.
For example, Ralph Fertig left Santa Barbara cyclists a lasting legacy. Recently, the California Transportation Foundation awarded the Ventura/Santa Barbara US 101 HOV and Ralph Fertig Memorial Bike Path the Bicycle Pedestrian Project of the Year….The path benefits everyone. Separating cyclists and pedestrians from high-speed motorists has made this section of road safer for all users. SBCAG is applying for state grant funding to connect Rincon Beach County Park to Carpinteria Avenue. In the future other missing gaps in the California Coastal Trail constructed. Whether you are a cyclist or not, we should all be united in the belief that our community is stronger when our roads are safer for all users.
Vitamin World Blog – June 24, 2016 – see article
Santa Barbara doesn’t actually need any help selling itself as a vacation spot. The city’s balmy Mediterranean climate, beaches, parks, and Spanish Colonial and Mission Revival architecture are enticing enough to encourage even the most hardcore workaholic into some downtime.
If, however, you prefer a less-sedentary getaway, Santa Barbara is still one of the nation’s most appealing destinations. The city encourages a “Car Free” ethos, with plentiful bike paths, rental shops and self-guided tours. There’s also excellent mountain-biking (and hiking) in the nearby Santa Ynez mountains, and bikes are free if you make advanced reservations on Amtrak (the train station is located on lower State Street, downtown’s main artery)…
BigBlendNetwork.com– June 17, 2016 – see article
I am a Southern California girl in the most “diva” sense of the word. I think car first for doing anything whether it be shopping or travel. It never crossed my mind to be without a car anywhere in the US, but especially in California. That being said, I do have an adventurous spirit, blinged-out walking shoes, and I am open to new experiences. So, when PR great Laura Kath offered me an opportunity to visit nearby Santa Barbara for a couple of days IF I would agree to do the travel by Amtrak train and be carless in Santa Barbara once I arrived, I choked back “Are you crazy,” dusted off my walking shoes and headed for the nearest railway station.
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.”
Examiner.com – May 12, 2016 – see article
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
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 article
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…