President Obama is expected to announce on Thursday that Florida will receive over a billion dollars in state aid to help build a high-speed rail link between Orlando and Tampa.
The announcement is expected as part of a speech the President is due to give in Tampa on Thursday evening. Florida has requested $2.5 billion in total for a rail line that would pass through Orlando on its way from Miami to Tampa. The initial grant will be used to pay for the first stretch, which will link the home of Walt Disney World (Orlando) to the location of Busch Gardens (Tampa).
The train link is expected to start at the Orlando International Airport, stopping at the Orlando Convention Center (close to Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando), Walt Disney World, Lakeland (close to the recently announced Legoland Florida) and terminating at Ybor City (close to Busch Gardens Tampa).
The route has the potential to remove a significant amount of traffic from South Florida's roads, alleviating the congestion which has grown over the last decade. It is likely that around 16 round trips will be offered daily, with travel time between Tampa and Orlando being less than an hour (compared to around 90 minutes by car).
The exact amount that Florida will receive has not yet been revealed, with estimates ranging from $1.25 billion to $1.6 billion. The total cost of the Orlando-Tampa link is likely to be around $3.5 billion.