Electric shuttle takes a turn on Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara (SantaBarbaraCarFree.org )
If you're worried about traffic problems during Carmegeddon II, hit the rails to get out of town. The Car Free Santa Barbara Project has a plan that will help you avoid the I-405 closure on Sept. 29-30.
“We invite Los Angeles-area residents and visitors to use this freeway closure and traffic as a chance to think outside the car," said Mary Boyd, manager of the program, which is sponsored by the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution District. "Take the train to Santa Barbara. Travel green and save some green.”
The Deal: Save 20% on Amtrak Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquin services and up to 50% at more than 65 hotels, activities and restaurants in Santa Barbara with “Cool Car Free Discounts.”
In addition, there are several special discounts that are only available on Sept. 29-30:
• Admission is free at more than 10 area museums on Sept. 29, including the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.
• "I Bike Santa Barbara" is offering $20 off per rider on bike tours of wine country
• Hotel Oceana is offering a 15% discount on its room rates
When: Sept. 29-30. If you can't make it on the Carmageddon II weekend most of the discounts, including Amtrak, restaurant, hotel and activities, will continue into December.
Tested: To book the hotels or other activities, call the facility directly and ask for the Car Free discount. To book the Amtrak rate, register at the Car Free Santa Barbara website, Then follow the link to a special page on Amtrak’s site. Once there, hit the blue "Book it Now" link, then enter your roundtrip choices. You'll see a box at the top of the screen saying the discount has been applied. The first time I tried it, I missed one of the steps and ended up on the main Amtrak website, which meant I didn't get the discount. The second time around, it worked; my $30 one-way ticket was reduced to $24. Incidentally, there was also a special $19 one-way fare on the site when I booked. It couldn't be discounted, but who cares? It gave me even greater savings on the trip.
Contact: Car Free Santa Barbara, (805) 696-1100