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.
On June 10, the Toronto City Council will vote on the future of the eastern section of the Gardiner Expressway. Many councillors are still undecided. If the council were to rely on evidence and facts, it would vote for the Hybrid option because it serves the welfare of millions more Torontonians than the Remove (8-lane Boulevard) option.
Toronto's medical officer last week argued that replacing Gardiner East with an 8-lane boulevard (the Remove Option) is preferred over realigning Gardiner East (the Hybrid Option) to connect with the DVP.This is one case where I argue the doctor does not know best.
The recent rise of data journalism has witnessed the emergence of data visualization where the editors increasingly reinforce narrative with creative infographics. While major news outlets such as The Economist, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal retained experts in data science and visualization, most newspapers have entrusted the task to the graphics departments that rely on tools that are not specifically designed for data visualization. At times, the outcome is math and logic-defying graphics that present a false picture
Canadian cities have enjoyed a steady population growth rate, which is significantly higher in suburban municipalities than that in central or urban municipalities. Smart fare integration across transit operators and jurisdictions will help grow transit ridership and improve accessibility and equity in metropolitan areas
The rail-link will connect Canada's two busiest transport hubs: Union Station and Toronto Pearson International Airport. Despite the high-speed connector between the two busiest hubs, transport authorities expect only 5,000 daily riders on the UP Express. The King Streetcar, in comparison, carries in excess of 65,000 daily riders.
Ontario announced $1.6 billion funding for the Hurontario LRT. Given the unmet transit demand in the City of Toronto, it is odd that the transit billions are being targeted at the suburban 905-ers. If ridership should be the primary consideration for prioritizing transit investments in Ontario, how does Hurontario LRT fare?
The ultimate goal of economic development is to achieve social justice and equity for all. The systematic biases that facilitate discrimination of girls, even at the hands of family, need to be confronted. When households stop stretching their fertility in hopes of having a son, a healthier and just society will emerge in India.
Mobile computing devices including the standby chargers, which provide life support to battery-starved smartphones or tablets, are adding pounds to the bags dangling from our aching shoulders. For the sake of our shoulders and spine, we need fewer and lighter devices.
The GO Transit network has sufficient capacity in the non-peak direction of travel during peak periods, and in both directions during off-peak periods. The government should offer free GO service in off-peak periods and in the non-peak direction during the peak period. The Pan Am Games should bring the City together in a mass celebration of the human spirit. The current plans require people to stay away or at home, which is against the very spirit of the Games. Let's plan better to have fun at the Games.
Slowly, but surely, I see my ancestral city die a slow death at the hands of religious fanatics. From Boko Haram in Nigeria, who kidnapped 276 young girls from a school in April 2014, to the TTP, who has repeatedly attacked schoolchildren in Pakistan, the Islamic fundamentalists are systematically attacking schools and students. Their goal is to deprive the future generation of Muslims of education and return them back to the dark ages. It is time for the West to right the wrongs and help save Peshawar from the apocalyptic mercenaries.
Discounting the school reputation because of the lower wages earned by its alumni makes no sense because wages usually reflect the local cost of living, which again is higher in large urban centers. Those who choose to work in small towns are unlikely to earn the high salaries that will make their schools shine in the MBA rankings.
While the City's traffic department sounds confident in its assertions, its recommended guidelines on lane widths are in stark contradiction to what we know from traffic engineering and safety studies. Narrower lane widths by default have higher accident rates. Even more disconcerting is the City's backgrounder on lane width guidelines, which states that traffic "throughput is independent of speed." Nothing could be more wrong about traffic flow than this statement.
The income polarization in Toronto is now reflected in the political choices of its residents. Mr. Tory captured the imagination and votes of the Toronto's Haves, but not of the City's Have-Nots, who have been pushed to the physical and economic boundaries of the city.
Millions around the world rejoiced when Malala Yousafzai won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. Today, Canada will embrace Malala by granting her an honourary citizenship to recognize and celebrate her efforts to educate the girls in Pakistan. Today, we must also expose and confront the distorted narratives of those in Pakistan who systematically misconstrue facts and figures to discredit her.
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...
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.
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 huge disconnect is obvious in Iran and Saudi Arabia where, in the name of Islam, varying degrees of orthodoxy is being enforced on the masses.
The Western interest in dismantling the Syrian regime was motivated by two factors. First, the Syrian regime had proven to be a sustained source of discomfort for Israel. Containing Syria meant additional operational space for Israel. The second factor had to do with the Arab regimes' interest in containing Iran's rising influence in the region.
For a sophisticated city like Toronto, it is embarrassing to see the leading candidates passing random lines drawn on a map for transit plans. These so-called plans lack research, engineering cost and ridership estimates, and transit revenue forecasts. At best, one could call these plans the transit dreams of mayoral hopefuls. However, given the underestimated costs and overestimated benefits of these proposals, it is likely that the politicians' dream would become taxpayers' nightmare.