Free transportation options available amid New Year’s Eve crush

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DENVER – From the bars to hotel parties to the fireworks shows, big crowds mean big prices for New Year’s Eve.

Be ready for cover charges. Just to get into some bars will cost $20. Exclusive parties at clubs and hotels will cost more than $100 per person.

Eventually, you’re going to have to make it home and that’s not cheap, either. Many people will rely on the Uber app, but its prices are expected to skyrocket.

Prices will depend on consumer demand, with most party-goers leaving at the same time. It will drive up surcharges, with the highest prices between midnight and 3 a.m.

One person on Halloween night was charged $85 by Uber for a ride from Governor’s Park to the Highlands, a ride that usually costs less than $20. Another person grabbed an Uber ride after a concert in Broomfield and paid hundreds of dollars for a trip to Louisville.

But there will be much cheaper options to get around Denver on New Year’s Eve.

There will be fireworks shows along the 16th Street Mall at 9 p.m. and midnight. But RTD will provide free bus and light rail service from 7 p.m. Wednesday until 6 a.m. Thursday.

Because of the fireworks displays, there will be limited free MallRide service on the 16th Street Mall from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

And there will be no service on the D, F and H light rail lines between the Theater District/Convention Center and 18th and California/Stout stations.

Free taxi rides are available from a single location to your home in the metro area through Thursday. You pay the driver and send your receipt and a copy of a valid driver's license to the Sawaya law firm for reimbursement up to $35.