2009 AMC 8 Problems/Problem 14

Problem

Austin and Temple are $50$ miles apart along Interstate 35. Bonnie drove from Austin to her daughter's house in Temple, averaging $60$ miles per hour. Leaving the car with her daughter, Bonnie rode a bus back to Austin along the same route and averaged $40$ miles per hour on the return trip. What was the average speed for the round trip, in miles per hour?

$\textbf{(A)}\  46  \qquad \textbf{(B)}\   48  \qquad \textbf{(C)}\   50  \qquad \textbf{(D)}\   52  \qquad \textbf{(E)}\   54$

Solution

The way to Temple took $\frac{50}{60}=\frac56$ hours, and the way back took $\frac{50}{40}=\frac54$ for a total of $\frac56 + \frac54 = \frac{25}{12}$ hours. The trip is $50\cdot2=100$ miles. The average speed is $\frac{100}{25/12} = \boxed{\textbf{(B)}\ 48}$ miles per hour.

Solution 2

This question simply asks for the harmonic mean of $60$ and $40$, regardless of how far Austin and Temple are. Plugging in, we have: $\frac{2ab}{a+b} = \frac{2 \cdot 60 \cdot 40}{60 + 40} = \frac{4800}{100} = \boxed{\textbf{(B)}\ 48}$ miles per hour.

See Also

2015 Problem 17

2009 AMC 8 (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 13
Followed by
Problem 15
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All AJHSME/AMC 8 Problems and Solutions

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