Potentially Misleading Averages

In today’s Today:

The average door-to-door journey time in Singapore is 36.8 minutes, lower than that in Hong Kong (39 minutes), London(38 minutes) and Tokyo (43 minutes), according to the data.

It’s worth noting that this average time may not necessarily mean that our transport system is on average better than those of the other cities. For it’s quite conceivable that, for example, a larger proportion of trips made on public transport in Singapore are over short distances. One could be more inclined to walk short distances in a climate like London’s, while (perhaps) in Singapore, the heat and humidity causes one to make a disproportionately larger number of short-distance trips on public transport. In short, the shorter average journey time in Singapore could just be because journeys made on public transport are shorter on average. So I wouldn’t interpret this as evidence of faster public transport in Singapore without more data.

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