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San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Holding Public Hearing for Revised DBE Program

Published on 02/27/2017

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) will hold a public hearing to discuss how the contracting process will change on SFMTA contracts that contain federal funds. There will now be African American goals on Construction contracts and Women goals on Professional Services and Construction contracts.

In accordance with requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation as set forth in 49 CFR Part 26, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) hereby notifies the public that it intends to establish an overall goal of fifteen percent (15%) participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) for Federal Fiscal Years 2017-2019. The SFMTA projects that the overall goal will be met through race-neutral (9%) and race-conscious (6%) means.

SFMTA is required to use Race-Conscious and Race-Neutral methods to meet an overall, annual 15% DBE participation goal. This goal applies to all contracts, construction and professional services.

The SFMTA conducted a Disparity Study (see below for more details) that indicated disparity in SFMTA contracting for African American CONSTRUCTION firms and women businesses. The SFMTA ask the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to allow the agency to use contract goals for African American-owned businesses on construction contracts only and for Women-owned businesses on all contracts (professional service, and construction). DOT approved SFMTA’s request.

SFMTA will hold a public hearing to discuss how SFMTA will use Race-Conscious and Race-Neutral methods to meet its overall, annual 15% DBE participation goal and to discuss how the contracting process will change on SFMTA contracts that contain federal funds.

On February 28, 2017, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., at 1 S. Van Ness, SF, CA 94103 in the 2nd Floor Atrium, there will be a Public Hearing. The anticipated agenda is below:

  • Overview of the Disparity Study
  • Waiver Process (Asking for Goals for Specific Groups of Owners)
  • Race-Conscious and Race-Neutral methods to meet an overall, annual 15% DBE goal
  • Public Comment


DISPARITY STUDY: A disparity study is necessary in order to have a race-based program for contracting. A disparity study is industry-specific research intended to estimate the level of minority contracting that one would reasonably expect to find in a market absent discrimination or its effects and a comparison of that research with actual contracting outcomes of a governmental agency.

The disparity found that African-American construction contractors and women were underutilized on SFMTA contracts. Therefore, SFMTA needed to request DOT in the form of a Waiver to allow it to establish DBE goals for these two groups only. The Waiver asks for specific DBE goals: African American owned business in CONSTRUCTION ONLY and Women owned businesses in CONSTRUCTION and PROFESSIONAL SERVICES.



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