For thousands of Knox County seniors, doctors visits or trips to the grocery store mean using publicly funded transportation.
But tight budgets and busy routes confine some seniors to their homes.
Knox County Commission is expected to vote Monday on a proposal to use $500,000 of a budget surplus to help fund transportation for disabled and senior citizens.
Pamela McFadden is one of them.
In the six short weeks since she moved out of the city, and into a new Knox County apartment, she's filled her backyard "sanctuary" with bursting blooms.
It's her driveway that will stay empty-- McFadden doesn't own a car.
"This is in the county here, there's no bus service here," says McFadden, who estimates she'd have to walk about two miles to pick up the nearest KAT bus route.
So the 69-year-old relies on friends for essential outings.
"I try not to lean on it. But it's embarrassing. It's humbling," says McFadden.
She also uses Knox County CAC Transit. It's a service that provides low cost or free transportation for citizens, especially the disabled or elderly.
"I've often said, 'you know I'd like to go somewhere three days from now,'" says McFadden. After being on hold for thirty minutes, she says she frequently gets the wrong response; "'No, we're booked!'"
CAC gets more calls for rides then they can afford. That means even the simplest trips require elaborate planning.
"I have to plan a week to 10 days ahead, even for the library," says McFadden.
And trips like the library or grocery store can frequently get prioritized behind appointments like dialysis or rehabilitation.
Knox County Commissioner Amy Broyles is sponsoring the resolution before commission.
"I have a lot of seniors in my district," says Broyles. "They have paid in to our system for years...I feel like this is something we owe them."
The resolution would allocate $400,000 to CAC to provide services outside of the Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) system's grid.
The money would only go towards providing the services, and not purchasing buses or any other capital.
The remaining $100,000 would go to transporting disabled seniors throughout the county, including those who live near a KAT route.
With a shoulder surgery coming up next month, McFadden is worrying about how she'll get to physical therapy afterward.
The therapy will help her regain strength in the arm and ultimately maintain her independence.
But when she called CAC to schedule her rides, she says they told her a lack of funding meant they may not be able to accommodate her.
"It's been worse and worse every year. Funding has been cut, cut, cut," says Broyles.
And the commissioner says she recognizes what McFadden has already experienced.
"There's nobody here whose not going to get older," says McFadden. "Not you, not me. This is not going to go away."
Knox County Finance Director Chris Caldwell says he expects a budget surplus of more than $20 million for the 2012 fiscal year.
But he says commissioners have already earmarked all but $3 million of that.
This week Caldwell also cautioned commissioners about the future of the county's finances.
He's projecting a $2.7 million drop in sales tax collections by the end of the 2013 fiscal year.