The first two-deck high speedboat Green-lines DP was piloted on the Saigon River on August 16 to replace the old hydrofoils that had been used between HCM City and the southern coastal city of Vung Tau.

The boat, which costs 1 million USD, was designed by Vietnamese engineer under European standards. It plans to officially begin operating in November 2015.

The boat, manufactured with two engines, is expected to save fuel and be safer than the old speedboats.

The boat, which can run at 55-60 km/h, takes one hour and 15 minutes to travel from HCM City to Vung Tau.

A one-way ticket costs 250,000 VND (11.5 USD).

At the pilot testing, Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Nhat said that local businesses would conduct research and manufacture two-engine high speedboats to replace the 20-year hydrofoils.

"We'd like to support these boats to serve passengers as soon as possible," he said.

The Government has plans to develop domestic waterways to reduce traffic congestion on roads.

In early 2014, one hydrofoil of Vina Express travelling from HCM City to Vung Tau caught fire while on the Saigon River. On board were 92 passengers, most of whom were foreigners.

After the accident, all the hydrofoils were repaired or upgraded, and were taken out of use. Some of them were later permitted to run the HCM City-Vung Tau route.-VNA