Each weekday for four years, Gertrude Cinadler, 74, went to a Montgomery County activity center for senior citizens.

She would have coffee with friends, or watch a film. Sometimes, she played Bingo or listened to music.

For Cinadler, widowed and unable to walk without crutches, the trips to the Holiday Park Multi Service Senior Center are an escape from the isolation of her apartment.

These days, Cinadler doesn't visit the center as often -- she can't afford it and Montgomery County says it can't either.

Cinadler used to travel by taxi from her Silver Spring apartment to the center under a special county transportation program that cost her just 70 cents a day. Montgomery's worsening fiscal situation has caused cutbacks in the program, and trips like Cinadler's have been eliminated.

"It was a shock for us. So many people come this way to the center. But they say no more. No money. Montgomery County is bankrupt," said Cinadler, who speaks in the lilting accent of her native Czechoslovakia.

It now costs $6 each way -- sometimes, a driver charges her $1 more -- for Cinadler to take a taxi to the center. Her limited income entitles her to discount coupons on taxi fares, but with trips to her doctor costing $18 round-trip, the coupons go fast.

"I don't go {to the center} Monday or Friday anymore. I just can't afford it," said Cinadler. "I come Tuesday, Wednesday and if I can manage it, Thursday. But not too often."

Cinadler spent five years in a German concentration camp. She met her husband there. She lost her family -- mother and father, three brothers and three sisters -- during the war.

She came to the United States in 1951 and her husband died seven years later, leaving her to raise her son by herself. She worked 20 years as a salesclerk.

Cinadler, who uses crutches or a walker in the aftermath of back and hip operations, lives in a comfortable apartment. "Look," she said, "I have everything. A great big TV. The radio. It is warm and I have food." But the days are long.

County officials, faced with a budget deficit of $65 million this year and a gap of $150 million next year, say they have no choice but to pare some services. The priority for the special transportation program for the disabled and elderly that served Cinadler is to transport the disabled to jobs. Transportation for medical care, unless it is chemotherapy or dialysis, also has been eliminated.

Workers at the senior center worry that future fiscal problems will mean that people such as Cinadler, who are not destitute but who live on frugal budgets, may be asked to pay for some services that are now provided free.

"I am not broke. I can handle my money but I have to be careful," Cinadler said last week as she visited the center. "I just want to be able to come here . . . . I don't like being alone."