BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – “It really tugs at your heart and you know, you really want to make the right decision that’s best for them,” Dadrius Lanus, President of East Baton Rouge School Board said.

Lanus is turning back the clock by riding school buses and learning about the problems drivers see every day.

“We need to shorten some of these routes because the wear and tear on the buses. They’re going to continue to break down. Obviously traffic is going to be a problem or an issue, which is why shorter routes just makes more sense. Recruit more bus operators,” Lanus said.

The district’s been engulfed in a controversy about the buses to start the year.

During an emergency meeting earlier this month, drivers talked about how low pay is impacting their jobs. Making it harder to recruit during a driver shortage.

“I’m making $20,000 and I’ve been here for 12 years. Now that’s not fair to me,” a bus driver said.

“Compensation changes that speak towards our employees, but we do need to make some upgrades. We also need to pay attention to the camera systems on our buses and make sure we are properly checking off every single box when we are talking about safety on the bus, Lanus said. Hearing all of those bus driver’s perspectives and then trying to come up with a centralized idea of how you fix that. I think it has been very helpful in doing so.”

Drivers challenged leaders to hop on board and Lanus agreed. He learned a lot about driver’s problems including a lack of AC units in buses.