Tips for using RTD to get to the annual Parade of Lights

Using RTD is a convenient way to get downtown for the annual 9News Parade of Lights. This year’s event starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, at 8 p.m. and at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7. 

Because of this, RTD will have to detour some routes. 

Bus detours on Friday are expected to last from 7 to 10 p.m. Bus detours on Saturday are expected to last from 5 to 8 p.m. The impacted bus routes include: 0, 1, 6, 8, 9, 10, 15, 15L, 16, 16L, 19, 20, 28, 32, 38, 43, 44, 48, 52 and the Free MallRide. 

Trains traveling to downtown Denver will end service at the Convention Center one hour before the start of the parade both Friday and Saturday. Normal service will resume as crowds clear. The light rail stations at 16th and Stout and 16th and California will be closed during that time. Rail lines D, F, H and L will be impacted. There will be no L Line service between 16th & Stout and 30th & Downing stations. L Line passengers can use Route 43 as an alternative. 

Here is a list of tips for using RTD to get downtown for the Parade of Lights:

  1. Use the Mobile tickets app. You can skip lines and use RTD’s Mobile Tickets app to buy tickets and passes anytime from anywhere. 
  2. Use NextRide or Transit apps. These apps will let you know in real time when the next bus or train will arrive.
  3. Using Uber and Lyft can help you get that first and last mile to and/or from the station. You don’t have to do any driving if you consult with the Uber or Lyft apps. With Lyft, you can see when the next bus or train is coming. With Uber, you can order a ride and buy a ticket for RTD services, all within the Uber app!
  4. Consult with our Rider Alerts page or Twitter account before you go. Information on detours and other service adjustments are available on the rider alerts webpage at under the Rider Info tab. Information is organized by bus route and rail line. If you follow RTD on Twitter at @RideRTD, you can get up-to-date information on RTD services that are running late or canceled. 
  5. Be patient. Since RTD has an operator shortage, the agency is not running extra service during this year’s Parade of Lights event. In addition, others in the Denver metro area probably have the same idea as you ─ using transit since it’s an easy and convenient way to get downtown.
  6. Dress warmly. With lows in the 30s predicted on Friday and Saturday, it’s always smart to dress in layers so you’ll be warm as you wait for the train or bus.
  7. Consider other routes. You can catch a northbound train to Union Station and get your steps in as you walk over to the parade! When you’re going home, you can rack up even more steps by going back to Union Station and catching the C, E or W. You can also transfer at Broadway for other southbound trains like the D and H. Please be advised that the F Line does not run on weekends.
  8. Let RTD save you money and worry. When you take RTD, you do not have to worry about finding parking or paying the parking fees. And, let’s be real: You can have that second mulled wine or holiday mule before or after the parade with no worries!

We at RTD wish you a fun, festive and safe holiday season. Thank you for choosing RTD!