Federal Transit Administration - Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program

The U.S Department of Transportation requires recipients of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funding to develop and implement a Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) program to ensure nondiscrimination in the award of FTA-assisted projects. The City of Seattle, a recipient of FTA funds through the Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Center, developed a DBE methodology and goal for the Federal Fiscal Year 2020 to 2022 (Oct. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2022). View the full methodology and goal calculations: Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Methodology 2020-2022.

In accordance with regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, 49 CFR Part 26, City of Seattle announces its overall DBE goal for the three Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) period 2023-2025 (Oct. 1, 2022, to Sept. 30, 2025) of 20.4% with 8.4% race-conscious and 12% race- neutral components for DBE participation on contracts assisted by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).  The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has received and reviewed the City of Seattle’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) triennial goal setting methodology for Federal Fiscal Years (FFY) 2023-2025. This DBE goal will be effective October 1, 2022, through September 30, 2025. View the proposed goal and its rationale: Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Methodology 2023-2025 for public review. Comments, feedback, and questions may be submitted until Sept. 15, 2022 via:

  • Email to FAS_PC@seattle.gov.

  • Address written comments to P.O. Box 94687, Seattle, WA 98124-4687.

  • Written comments will be accepted by the City of Seattle and FTA for 45 days following publication of this notice. 

DBE program objectives:

  • Ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of federally funded contracts.
  • Create a level playing field where DBEs can compete fairly for federally funded contracts.
  • Help remove barriers to DBE participation in the bidding, award and administration of City of Seattle contracts.
  • Assist in the development of DBEs so they can compete successfully in the market outside of the DBE program.
  • Ensure that only firms that fully meet the eligibility standards of 49 CFR Part 26 are permitted to participate as DBEs.
  • Ensure that the DBE program is narrowly tailored in accordance with applicable law.
  • Identify qualified DBEs that can provide City of Seattle with required materials, equipment, supplies and services, and develop good rapport with the owners and managers of said companies.
  • Develop programs that will introduce prospective DBEs to the City's contract procedures, activities and requirements.
  • Encourage DBEs to provide the City with feedback on existing barriers and how to eliminate those barriers.
  • Administer the DBE program in close coordination with other City departments to ensure its success.

What is a DBE?

A DBE is a for-profit small business that is at least 51% owned by individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged. For details on additional criteria based on personal net worth and business size standards, please visit https://www.civilrights.dot.gov/disadvantaged-business-enterprise/do-you-qualify-dbe.

How does my business become a DBE?

In Washington state, you must be certified through the Washington State Office of Minority & Women's Business Enterprises. Please visit OMWBE's website for additional information.

2023-2025 DBE goal for FTA-funded projects

The City of Seattle overall DBE goal for the three Federal Fiscal Year period 2023-2025 is 20.04%.

Small business

The City of Seattle FTA/DBE program also supports local small businesses by breaking large projects into smaller subparts for which small businesses and DBEs will be more likely to compete; encouraging prime contractors to subcontract portions of the work that they might otherwise perform themselves; and connecting them with certification resources and prime contractors in the region.

Contact information

Miguel Beltran, Contract Compliance Manager
(206) 684-4525 or miguel.beltran@seattle.gov