Transport authorities in many provinces and cities nationwide have said they are preparing to meet a higher travel demand than the last Tet (the Lunar New Year) holiday.

According to the Dong Nai province's Transport Department, an estimated 100,000 labourers working in the province will get return to their hometown in central and northern provinces to reunite with their families.

The figure is much higher than last Tet.

The province had prepared 86 standby coaches willing to transport passengers in case there was a sudden demand, said Tran Van Quan, the department's deputy director.

In addition, it would mobilise inner-city buses to run on inter-provincial routes in case the demand could not be met, Quan said.

The province would strictly punish violations of road rules, including actions that cause traffic disorder, and picking up and dropping off passengers at unregulated spots, he added.

Other central provinces like An Giang and Soc Trang and Can Tho city have also prepared plans to serve travel needs of passengers before, during and after Tet.

An Giang province, for instance, will mobilise more than 1,300 coaches and 500 boats and ferries, ensuring no passengers are left stranded at bus stations or wharfs in the peak days of the festival season.

Meanwhile, Soc Trang province's Transport Department has asked transportation companies to check all buses to ensure technical safety.

With the opening of the Can Tho Bridge last year, passengers from other places to Can Tho city no longer have to go through the Hau Giang Ferry. The city has pledged to ensure sufficient coaches to serve passengers travelling within and outside the city.

Other central localities, including Quang Ngai and Da Nang city, are also prepared for the Tet rush.

Quang Ngai, for example, has established a steering committee to address Tet-related transportation problems, including overpricing of tickets, overloading and speeding.

The number of passengers travelling for Tet in the province is expected to increase by 10-15 percent over last year, particularly on Quang Ngai-Ho Chi Minh City and Quang Ngai-Central Highlands routes

In HCM City , Nguyen Bat Han, deputy chief inspector of the municipal Transport Department, said starting from January 20, the transportation inspection team would intensify checking and punishing of violations.

Specifically, the team would intensify checks on unlicensed coaches and coaches picking up and dropping off passengers at unregulated spots around inter-provincial coach stations like Mien Dong, Mien Tay and An Suong to ensure passengers' safety, he said.

There are more than 1.3 million passengers traveling from HCM City to their home towns for the Lunar New Year, an increase of 5-10 percent compared to last year, according to the department.

In case bus stations are overloaded, the city will increase by half the number of buses available.

In Hanoi , the Hanoi Transport Company has said it would increase the number of bus trips on 48 routes to serve passengers before and after Tet. /.