HO CHI MINH CITY, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam on Monday launched its first water bus service in Ho Chi Minh City to help reduce traffic congestions and promote tourism on Saigon River, said the municipal transport department.

The first water bus route covers nearly 11 km in the four districts of 1, 2, Binh Thanh and Thu Duc with 12 stops starting at Bach Dang wharf in District 1 and ending at Linh Dong wharf in Thu Duc district.

Four boats, designed in the form of hydrofoils, are used daily to carry people, including five crew members and 75 passengers at most, with a fare of 15,000 Vietnamese dong (66 U.S. cents).

A boat, which is 18 meters long and has a bar at its end, runs at a speed of 40 km per hour, covering the whole route in 30 minutes.

The department and the service's operator, a local company named Thuong Nhat, plan to launch the second bus route in the coming time.