Uber never planned to roll out new safety features, and its driver screening remained a joke. The whole program boiled down to a few instructional videos, which were unlikely to stop the Mazda Mangler from striking again. An Uber insider later said the fee was "devised primarily to add $1 of pure margin to each trip. It was obscene." It does take a certain kind of depravity to read passenger safety horror stories and only hear cartoon cash register noises.
In 2016, Uber was sued and paid a settlement of $25.8 million to passengers. That's about 0.82 cents per passenger, and as any math teachers in the audience may know, $28.5 million is substantially smaller than $500 million. But don't worry, Uber was also required to rename the "Safe Rides" fee to a "Booking" fee -- a brutal punishment which we're sure will dissuade corporations from ever trying something like this again.