Saying it's time to end the war on cars, mayoral frontrunner Coun. Rob Ford said he would focus on subways, buses and fixing roads while phasing out streetcars.

“Transit City would spend $3.7 million in the next five years to build a network of streetcars that will do absolutely nothing to provide faster transit or reduce gridlock," Ford said Wednesday in a video released on YouTube.

"At the same cost, we can build a subway line that moves 10 times as many people, three times faster. That makes sense.”

Ford put the cost of his mass transit plan at $4 billion over a five-year period.

The money would come from $3.7 billion the province has agreed to contribute towards Transit City, plus $300 million from the sale of "air rights" above the stations.

By 2015, Ford said he would complete the Sheppard line by extending it to the Scarborough Town Centre mall transit hub. He would also extend the Bloor-Danforth line northward to the hub.

The cost of increasing buses would be offset by the "reduced purchase of streetcars, sale of existing streetcars and reduced streetcar system maintenance.”

Road improvements would cost $700 million and would be paid for by the sale of air rights, Ford said.

Another $55 million would be spent on bicycle and walking trails.

On-road bicycle lanes would exist where there is community support and won’t impede traffic," his plan said.

There would be no new taxes or tolls, Ford said.

Transit City

Ford voted against Transit City, which city council had approved and current Mayor David Miller has championed.

Transit City would see a 120-kilometre network of light-rail transit built across the city. The province has given its approval for construction of the Eglinton LRT line, a 33-kilometre corridor that will stretch from Pearson International Airport in the west to Kennedy station in the west.

Light-rail transit costs about one-sixth of the per-kilometre amount required for subway construction. Construction has begun on the Sheppard LRT line.

Each light rail vehicle replaces four buses, according to the TTC. They can operate at 50 to 60 kilometres per hour and will use reserved lanes.

Tunnel borers for constructing the underground portions of the Transit City lines have been ordered, as have 182 light rail vehicles to be assembled in Thunder Bay. Delivery is to start 2013.

In a news release, former provincial cabinet minister George Smitherman said: "There will be massive financial penalties for cancelling (the LRVs and boring machines) now. That's money for nothing and the ultimate in waste and mismanagement."

He also said $790 million of the money Ford is counting on from the province is designated for expanding bus service in York region.

Smitherman, who released his transit plan in the spring, got a rebuke from his own brother. Arthur Smitherman, who is running for city council, has said he is backing Ford.

Social media

Ford didn't hold a news conference to release his policy on one of the election's key issues.

Ryerson University professor Mitchell Kosny questioned Ford's motives for the approach.

"For someone who talks about returning thousands of phone calls to people and being out in the community where anyone can reach him, putting out that announcement on television is the most controlled" way to deliver a message, he said.

Ford told CTV Toronto that he turned to YouTube to reach young people.

"It's a different spin to get the younger generation," he said. "I'm really trying to attract the younger voters."

With a report from CTV Toronto's Alicia Markson