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SAN DIEGO-The Port Commission has approved a high-speed ferry that will shuttle commuters from Oceanside to San Diego. The San Diego Port Commission cleared the way for the $5-million demonstration project last week by voting to begin negotiations with SCX Inc. Should SCX fail to deliver on the deal, the commission ordered its staff to work with Sea Planes Inc. as an alternative.

The panel also directed its staff to conduct an environmental review and accept grant money from the California Department of Transportation to pay for the project.

The company hopes to use a boat contracted to the US Navy for testing various hydrofoil technologies as a passenger carrier. The boat must be certified by the Coast Guard before it can be used as a ferry.

The boats will offer service between San Diego and Oceanside for about $15 each way. The company also will offer ferry service from the San Diego area to western Los Angeles for about $60 one way.

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