Downtown Santa Barbara Parking Lots Increase Hourly Rate

Downtown Santa Barbara's Parking Lot #5 (edhat file photo)

Source: City of Santa Barbara

Hourly parking rates in Downtown parking lots will increase to $2.50 per hour on July 1, 2022.  This rate increase is in response to the rising costs of performing parking-related services, major maintenance, and capital improvements; and will ensure Downtown Parking can continue to maintain clean, safe parking facilities and provide the level of service for which Santa Barbara is known.

Parkers will continue to receive 75-minutes free parking each day before accruing hourly fees.  Rates are in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Downtown Parking offers affordable monthly permit options for residents and those working in the Downtown area.  Visit to learn more about the available permit options. 

Downtown Parking maintains ten parking lots and five parking structures with over 3,000 parking stalls, serving over five million vehicles annually.  Revenue from parking fees also supports the Downtown Plaza area encompassing the State Street Central Business District and the downtown paseo system.

What do you think?


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  1. Perhaps the Downtown Parking Committee, meeting monthly (at 8:30 am?) with no televised meetings for the public to be informed, discussed this, but for the rest of Santa Barbara, this would be more tolerable if they showed/explained what the actual costs are/parking lot and what each brings in. We, the non-bikers out here, those of us physically unable to bike around town, would be more accepting of 4-day/week government, not to mention the council with its many days off – not meeting until July 19!, if there were a clear cost to operate vs income sttatement for each would be raise in rates.

  2. Will there be more security in the parking lots with the increase? I doubt it. People want to feel reasonably safe going downtown. Randy Rowse – Do something – do anything…. ribbon cutting ceremonies are great and all but make an impact.

  3. I agree with SBSAND, I see nothing to go down town for. Our town has no place to actually shop. La Cumberland plaza has Macys. I have lived here for 71 years. Down town use to be fabulous. You could go down town and see people you it’s homeless, urin filled areas. I do not feel safe down there nor would I feel safe letting my children down there. I can remember it was almost a right of passage to allow you teen to go to town for a few hours alone. Newberrys woolworths, kernahans, no longer that Santa Barbara.

  4. I knew this minor change would set the commenters off. Thanks everyone, you didn’t disappoint.
    Free parking for 75 mins is awesome! Yeah, it used to be 90 mins way back when. But imagine how bad the lots would be if they were totally free. If you are upset about this, try to realize how good we have it. It’s not worth worrying about.

  5. Downtown may not be as good as it was, but there’s still a lot of good stuff there. La Arcada is a lovely place to stroll through. There are plenty of good restaurants, like Los Arroyos and Savoy just off State on Figueroa. There’s the Museum of Art, and the central Library. There are happy tourists and working locals. If the city can push the store landlords into renting out their vacant properties, instead of keeping them empty as tax write-offs, maybe some of the previous vibrancy will return.

  6. Downtown is dirty, has few interesting stores left, and is filled with transients.
    I was attacked by a transient a few years ago. They were jailed but released afterwards.
    I have lived here for decades and see no reason to go there anymore. Sad, but true.

  7. Marcel – They’re not the same and it’s super ignorant to compare the small private lots downtown who tow violators frequently to the ease of access of public, paid for parking. You seem like one of those people who wants to sound so sharp online but I bet you’re meek as a mouse irl.

  8. 40 , 50 years back city parking lots were 90 minute parking. How much after that I do not remember. But Monday – Saturday after 6 pm it was free till about 9am the next morning. On Sunday’s it was free all day and night till about 9 am on Monday’s. It will get to the point that there will not be any free parking in SB. Not even in the residential neighborhoods. Sad.

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