Federal Transport Minister John Baird is asking the City of Ottawa to be patient when it comes to getting federal cash to fund the city's transit plan.

Baird made the comments to CTV Ottawa on Wednesday during an unrelated $11-million announcement to upgrade rail lines across the country.

The provincial government has already committed $600 million to help fund Ottawa's multi-billion dollar transit plan. The federal government is expected to do the same.

So far, the federal government has committed $200 million to the project. There's no word on when it might devote more money for the plan.

Baird said the transport ministry is currently in discussions with the province to ensure federal funding for local projects is distributed fairly across Ontario.

Meanwhile, the city is hoping to have the federal cash by next month, which would allow it to move forward with the first phase of the project after the environmental assessment is complete.

The first phase of Ottawa's transit plan is estimated to cost $2.1 billion, a price tag that jumped significantly from an original estimate of $1.4 billion.

The initial phase of the project includes building a transit tunnel through downtown Ottawa, as well as laying light rail tracks from Blair Road to Tunney's Pasture.