As Seattle looks to double the size of its bike-share program to 20,000 bikes under proposed regulations announced last week, The Seattle Times took to our Instagram account (@seattletimes) to ask readers for their questions about dockless rental bikes.

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Dockless rental bikes are scattered all over Seattle.

In past days, Traffic Lab has written about the reliability of finding a bike that is available to ride; out of 206 bikes tested, 68.5 percent were ridable. We’ve also read the fine print in the companies’ user agreements. Turns out, you’ve given up your right to take two of the companies to court if something goes wrong.

As Seattle looks to double the size of its bike-share program to 20,000 bikes under proposed regulations announced last week, The Seattle Times took to our Instagram account (@seattletimes) to ask readers for their questions about dockless rental bikes.

Traffic Lab is a Seattle Times project that digs into the region’s thorny transportation issues, spotlights promising approaches to easing gridlock, and helps readers find the best ways to get around. It is funded with the help of community sponsors Alaska Airlines, CenturyLink, Kemper Development Co., NHL Seattle, PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company, Sabey Corp., Seattle Children’s hospital and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Seattle Times editors and reporters operate independently of our funders and maintain editorial control over Traffic Lab content.

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Here are a some of the questions we received that we answered, plus a few more. The questions have been lightly edited for clarity.

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Q: What are the companies doing to quickly remove unsafe bikes? I’ve seen brake lines cut.

A: Each company employs crews to regularly monitor and relocate bikes. They are supposed to remove bikes found to be damaged. However, out of the 206 bikes Traffic Lab tested, 12 showed obvious damage and 53 failed to unlock due to communications or battery failures. Companies have also encouraged people to inspect bikes before riding and directed anyone with information about vandalism to contact the Seattle Police Department at its nonemergency number, 206-625-5011. Read more here and here.

Q: Are taxes used to fund these bikes?

A: No. Currently, the city charges the private bike-share companies $15 per bike plus about $1,800 in administrative fees to operate. Under proposed regulations, each company would pay Seattle $250,000 annually to operate on city streets and sidewalks. Read more here.

Q: Will the city be getting any electric scooters (like Bird or Lime-S)? Would there ever be tandem bikes or unicycles??

A: Seattle won’t be getting shareable electric scooters any time soon. The city is holding off on allowing companies to operate scooter shares until it gets a permit program in place and until a permanent program is in place for the bike-share companies. However, there are scores of people who get around using one-wheeled e-rideables, hoverboards and unicycles. Read more here.

Q: Who’s responsible for fishing them out of Green Lake?

A: The bikes may be free floating, but they don’t float in lake water. The bike-share companies are responsible for retrieving them, and lately they’ve turned to local scuba instructor Mike Hemion to fetch discarded bikes.

Q: By law, is it permitted to ride dockless rental bikes without a helmet? Why aren’t helmet laws [enforced] for these bikes as well?

A: Here’s the deal with helmets: It’s the law in Seattle and the rest of King County that you have to wear a helmet when you ride a bike. Seattle police do write tickets from time to time, but they say they mostly focus on education rather than enforcement. Read more here.

Q: How do I pay for the bikes?

A: Users can input their credit card information into each bike company’s app. Riders then have the option to pay per ride or load a balance onto their account to take multiple rides. Read more here.

Q: What is the money these companies pay Seattle used for?

A: Under proposed regulations, the city would use 60 percent of the permit money companies pay on administrative costs to oversee the system. That would include collecting data and conducting audits to make sure the companies are following the rules. The other 40 percent of the permit money would be used to build 150 to 200 bike-parking corrals. Read more here.