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The question is from the topic relative speed. It discusses about meeting point of two buses travelling at different speeds in opposite directions. Time, Speed and Distance is a favorite part in CAT Exam, and appears more often than expected in the CAT Quantitative Aptitude section in the CAT Exam

Question 11: Cities M and N are 600km apart. Bus A starts from city M towards N at 9AM and bus B starts from city N towards M at the same time. Bus A travels the first one-third of the distance at a speed of 40kmph, the second one-third at 50kmph and the third one-third at 60kmph. Bus B travels the first one-third of the total time taken at a speed of 40kmph, the second one-third at 50kmph and the third one-third at 60kmph. When and where will the two buses cross each other?

  1. 300 kms from M
  2. 280 kms from M
  3. 305 kms from M
  4. 295 kms from M

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Explanatory Answer

Method of solving this CAT Question from Time Speed Distance: Two buses traveling in opposite directions will definitely cross each other, the question is when?

Bus A
Travels 200km @ 40kmph
the next 200km @ 50kmph and
the final 200km @ 60kmph

So, Bus A will be at a distance of 200km from city M after 5 hours, and at a distance of 400km after 9 hours, and reach N after 12 hours and 20 mins

Bus B
Travels at an overall average speed of 50kmph, so will take 12 hours for the entire trip.
So, Bus B will travel 160 kms in the first 4 hours , 200 kms in the next 4 hours and 240 in the final 4 hours
So, both buses cross each other when they are in their middle legs.

After 5 hours, bus A will be at a position 200kms from city M. At the same time, bus B will be at a distance 210kms from city N (4 * 40 + 50).

The distance between them will be 190kms (600 - 200 - 210). Relative speed = Sum of the the two speeds = 50 + 50 = 100 kmph.

Time taken = \\frac{190}{100}\\)= 1.9 hours. = 1 hour and 54 minutes. So, the two buses will meet after 6 hours and 54 minutes. Bus B will have travelled 210 + 95 = 305 kms. So, the two buses will meet at a point that is 305 kms from City N and 295 kms from city A.

The question is "When and where will the two buses cross each other?

Hence, the buses cross 295 kms from city A.

Choice D is the correct answer.


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