Mayor-elect Rob Ford is backing further away from campaign musings about “phasing out” streetcars, saying yesterday that if cancelling a $1.25-billion order for a replacement fleet “is going to cost the taxpayers an arm and a leg, then obviously we can’t do it.”

Ford, who takes office Dec. 1, made the comment yesterday on John Oakley’s radio show after saying on another show Torontonians who didn’t vote for him can call him to talk about their concerns.

His deputy campaign manager, Nick Kouvalis, suggested replacing streetcars with buses could take a decade.

But Tuesday, Ford’s brother Doug, his campaign manager and replacement as councillor in Ward 2, told the Toronto Star they have no plans to “start yanking up streetcars and throwing them in the lake.”