Murtaza Haider
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Murtaza Haider is an associate professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, in Toronto. Murtaza is also the Director of a consulting firm Regionomics Inc.

He specializes in applying statistical methods to forecast demand and/or sales. His research interests include human development in Canada and South Asia, forecasting housing market dynamics, transport and infrastructure planning and development.

Murtaza Haider is working on a book, Getting Started with Data Science: Making Sense of Data with Analytics (ISBN 9780133991024), which will be published by Pearson/IBM Press in Spring 2015.

He is an avid blogger and also blogs weekly about socio-economics in South Asia for the Dawn newspaper.

Murtaza Haider holds a Masters in transport engineering and planning and a Ph.D. in Urban Systems Analysis from the University of Toronto. He is also an adjunct professor of engineering at McGill University.

Entries by Murtaza Haider

The Union-Pearson Express Train Gets a Big Thumbs Down

(9) Comments | Posted April 23, 2015 | 5:36 PM

What does a billion dollars' worth of transit investment get in Toronto? A piddly 5,000 daily riders. To put things in perspective, dozens of bus routes in Toronto carry more passengers every day than the trips forecasted for the Union-Pearson rail link (UP Express).

The rail-link will connect Canada's two...

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Ontario Needs to Prioritize Its Transit Spending

(2) Comments | Posted April 21, 2015 | 6:13 PM

For local politicians in Mississauga and Brampton, money could very well grow on trees. The decision by the Province to pay 100 per cent of the $1.6 billion for the Hurontario Light Rail Transit (LRT) frees up the local governments from putting up one-third of the estimated costs. This year...

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India Needs to Make the Health of Female Children a Priority

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2015 | 12:49 PM

They have been discussing trade in nuclear fuel. They should have, instead, focused more on feeding the hungry, especially the female children in India.

On his recent visit to Canada, the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, successfully negotiated with the Canadian government to import 7.1-million...

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Are Smartphones the Cure for Our Aching Shoulders?

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2015 | 9:29 AM

For years, I have not flown without one. But that was in the past. Last week, I boarded a plane equipped only with an iPhone 6 Plus. My iPad and the Surface Tablet were resting at home. My carry-on luggage felt lighter than ever before.

Mobile computing has brought us...

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Toronto's Pan Am Transit Plans Divide the City

(7) Comments | Posted March 26, 2015 | 8:38 AM

Imagine spending months planning a great party. But as the date approaches, you are told not to attend it.

Canada will host the Pan Am Games in July. Fearing traffic chaos during the games, the organizers are recommending Torontonians to either stay at home or away from the City!

...
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Religious Fanatics Are Dragging My City of Peshawar Back to the Dark Ages

(16) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 2:46 PM

Slowly, but surely, I see my ancestral city die a slow death at the hands of religious fanatics. The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an affiliate of Al-Qaeda, killed 141 people, mostly children, at the Army Public School in Peshawar today.

From Boko Haram in Nigeria, who

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Don't Tie Graduate Salaries To a Grad School's Reputation

(0) Comments | Posted December 14, 2014 | 10:51 PM

It's not just the gender stereotypes. The case method, the gold standard in business education, is riddled with reductionist approaches offering "quick fixes" to complicated problems that promote act now, think later approaches to keen business students.

The recent controversy about an assignment in the first-year MBA...

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Why Toronto's Traffic Department Couldn't Be More Wrong

(21) Comments | Posted November 26, 2014 | 12:13 PM

The City of Toronto plans to narrow lane widths to improve traffic safety. However, traffic-engineering experts believe that narrow lane widths are associated with higher accident rates.

While John Tory, the mayor-elect, has already endorsed the City's plans, he and the traffic experts at the City must review traffic...

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Toronto Is a City Divided into the Haves, Will Haves and Have Nots

(4) Comments | Posted October 30, 2014 | 12:54 PM

It's a tale of two cities: Toronto the rich, and Toronto the poor. The city's rich have elected a mayor, John Tory, who has won with a convincing margin over his rivals. However, Mr. Tory's support is concentrated in the high-income, central parts of the city. He failed to attract...

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The Affordable Housing Gap Is Only Getting Wider

(0) Comments | Posted October 24, 2014 | 5:25 PM

It's not just Toronto or Vancouver. Globally, 330-million households live in substandard housing or they are financially stretched because of excessive housing costs.

If the housing affordability gap is not addressed by 2025, 1.6-billion people will occupy "crowded, inadequate, and unsafe housing or will be financially stretched." Whereas 200-million households...

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I Can Only Pray There Will Be a Thousand More Malalas

(3) Comments | Posted October 23, 2014 | 8:11 AM

She has survived the bullets; now she must defeat the bigots.

Millions around the world rejoiced when Malala Yousafzai won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize: the youngest person ever to receive this honour. Still, it was not enough to win over many in her homeland, who see Malala as...

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The TTC Isn't Pulling its Weight

(1) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 5:12 PM

The Yonge-University-Spadina (YUS) subway line carries 34 per cent fewer passengers during rush hour than its design capacity. Whereas the decision to run two additional trains during the rush hour is a welcome step, it still falls significantly short of operating the YUS line at its potential capacity.

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Politicians Should Leave Transit Planning to the Experts

(5) Comments | Posted October 3, 2014 | 12:49 PM

Unlike the past, when professionals led transport planning in Toronto, transport planning today has become the exclusive purview of poorly informed politicians. To have any chance of addressing gridlock, transit planning has to start with professionals who actually understand real needs and alternative solutions before political choices are made.
...

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Why Is Happiness a Crime in Iran?

(7) Comments | Posted September 24, 2014 | 12:32 PM

"It might seem crazy what I'm about to say;" dancing with joy is a crime in Iran.

Seven Iranian students have received a suspended sentence of up to 12 months and 91 lashes each. Their crime: they recorded a video signing Pharrell Williams' song, Happy.

A...

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Are the Deaths of Two Westerners Worth More Than Thousands of Syrians?

(3) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 5:48 PM

It is a typical summer flick, but it offers a great lesson for geopolitics. Hercules, released earlier in the summer, shows how the son of Zeus fights against tyrants only to realize later that he was tricked into fighting against the good guys.

Prime...

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These Politicians' Random Maps Are Not Transit Plans

(6) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 4:55 PM

Not to be outdone by others, Mayor Rob Ford released his transit wish list for Toronto that promised to build 32 km of subways for $9 billion. Regrettably, Mr. Ford's proposal is ill-conceived and, if built, is likely to derail public transit in Toronto.

Mr. Ford is the last of...

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Police Brutality is a Global Phenomenon

(8) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 5:24 PM

Michael Brown, Sammy Yatim, and the 11 civilians killed in June in Lahore are three sides of the same coin. They are dreadful examples of police brutality.

Messers Brown and Yatim, both 18-year-old racialized men, were shot dead by the police. However, unlike in Toronto, Canada, where Mr. Yatim died,...

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Will the Roof Collapse on Canada's Housing Market?

(3) Comments | Posted July 31, 2014 | 5:10 PM

The word on the (Bay) street, and in the news media, is that of an overdue 'correction' in Canada's housing markets. Some are more alarming than others and liken Canada's housing market to that in Ireland. Others sound more calming and speak of a 'soft landing.'

Households and investors worry...

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On International Issues, Harper Commits Selective Morality

(25) Comments | Posted July 27, 2014 | 10:14 PM

If Russia were to follow the American lead, it should decorate the officer who shot down the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17.

Grotesque as it may sound, but this is exactly what the U.S. did. On July 3, 1988, Captain William C. Rogers...

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The CRA Should Not Define Poverty's Threshold

(6) Comments | Posted July 25, 2014 | 5:46 PM

Prevention is better than cure. The doctor knows it. The taxman doesn't.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has recently forced Oxfam Canada to exclude "preventing poverty" from their mission statement in order to keep their charity status. "Relieving poverty is charitable, but preventing it is not," the CRA advised...

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