Gregory has refused to allow seemingly insurmountable obstacles stand in his way. He’s always been independent but he has sleep apnea which prevents him from driving. It’s difficult for him to stay awake, focus his eyes, and react quickly while driving. He knows that you don’t have to fall asleep to have a crash – you simply have to be inattentive or less alert for something bad to happen. “I never wanted to take that chance,” said Gregory. When he was working he fell asleep often and described how scary it was.
A few years ago he was working at a grocery distribution center and fell. That fall left him disabled and unable to work again. He also has a severe eye condition that causes blurring and blind spots, neuropathy in both feet and diabetes. As you can imagine managing all of these health issues can be stressful.
Gregory tries to stay active by lifting weights, an activity he’s always enjoyed. He’s very savvy and resourceful. He found Foothill’s transportation program and has been a regular rider ever since. He relies on the program to get him to various medical appointments, attend community events, and run important errands.
The agency’s transportation program, Foothills Express, gives riders the opportunity to live independently and participate fully in their communities. He primarily uses the Winchester/Clark County Transit Service. The service, a partnership between Foothills, the City of Winchester, and the Clark County Fiscal Court, is a deviated fixed route that runs Monday through Friday from 8 am-5 pm, and bus fare is $1 per day. Stops include stores, apartment communities, city and county offices, and businesses. Wheelchair assisted door-to-door service is available for no additional cost and bulk passes are available at a discounted rate. Foothills offers similar services in Richmond and Berea. Foothills also provides a Commuter Service from Winchester and Richmond to different locations in the Lexington area to assist employees in getting to their workplaces. In addition, Foothills provides all Eastern Kentucky University shuttle services.
“I kept seeing the bus pass my house and thought, ‘one day I’m going to try it out’.” He did, and immediately loved it. The service is affordable and takes him to all of his doctor’s appointments. “Sometimes I get on the bus with nowhere to go,” he said. “I just like to get out and see everyone.” Gregory looks forward to seeing his friends and fellow riders on the bus. “We all get along real good,” he said. “We’re like family. It’s also nice to have someone to talk to when you’re having a bad day. Honestly I don’t know what I would do without the bus.”