Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program

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Sharon Beasley
Federal Transit Policies and Reporting
(916) 657-5206

Program Overview

The Division of Rail and Mass Transportation (DRMT) administers three Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funding programs. These programs are:

1) Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities Program, Section 5310

2) Nonurbanized Area Formula Program, Section 5311

3) Bus and Bus Related Equipment Facilities, Section 5339

The FTA requires administering agencies, such as the DRMT, to ensure that subrecipients of Section 5310 and 5311 funds are in compliance with the U. S. Department of Transportation, Title 49 Code of Federal Regulation Part 26.

Part 26 establishes the requirements for participation by disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) in federal transit funding programs. Subrecipients with contracting opportunities must submit a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Race-Neutral and Race Conscious Implementation Agreement for Federal Transit Administration Subrecipients (Implementation Agreement). All DBE Race-Neutral Implementation Agreements will be submitted to Division of Rail and Mass Transportation.

For additional information click on the following:

OBEO DBE database

Bidders List

DBE Threshold Questionnaire



Form 9D

Tips for Completing Form 9D

Black Cat Grant Management System Log-in


DBE requirements apply to projects with contracting opportunities. Where no contracting opportunities exist, DBE requirements are not applicable.

Subrecipients of operating assistance and non-vehicle capital projects with contracting opportunities must meet the requirements of the federal DBE program as they pertain to local agencies. DBE requirements for vehicle projects are satisfied by the vehicle manufacturer and are not passed on to the subrecipient.

Important Note Regarding Operating Assistance: Subrecipients using federal funds to pay a percentage of their net project cost are subject to DBE requirements for any purchase that is paid from the operating budget. This is also the case for preventive maintenance projects.


Caltrans 2014 Disparity Study for FTA Contracts

Revised 2016 Triennial Goals and Methodology

  DBE Program Plan

First, subrecipients must adhere to the California State Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program Plan as it applies to local agencies. Additionally, subrecipients must submit a completed Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Race-Neutral and Race Conscious Implementation Agreement for Federal Transit Administration Subrecipients(Implementation Agreement). Private non-profit transit providers, large transit operators and state agencies should submit the completed Implementation Agreement to their Section 5310 contact. Private for profit transit providers and subrecipients of Section 5311 funds should submit the completed Implementation Agreement to their local District Transit Representative.

Subrecipients need only resubmit the Implementation Agreement should the DBE Liaison Officer or significant staff changes occur, or should the Implementation Agreement be reissued by DMT as a result of changes in federal or state guidance. Should state or federal guidance necessitate changing the language of the Implementation Agreement, DMT will notify subrecipients.

  DBE Participation Contracts

The language contained in the page titled “Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)” must be included the solicitation document. Subrecipient with contracting opportunities can find a listing of certified DBEs at the following: Find a Certified DBE Firm.
Subrecipients cannot rely on the California Department of Transportation’s (Department) overall goal for their project.


Biannually, the Department must report DBE participation in its federal transit programs to the Federal Transit Administration. To this end, subrecipients with contracting opportunities must submit information regarding successful bidders and contract payments to DMT. Reporting forms with instructions for the Sections 5310 and 5311 programs are listed below:

  Other Resources

Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan Program
America's Recovery Capital (ARC) Loan Program can provide up to $35,000 in short-term relief for viable small businesses facing immediate financial hardship to help ride out the current uncertain economic times and return to profitability. Each small business is limited to one ARC loan.

SBA Bond Guarantee Program
Prior Approval Program:
SBA guarantees a surety company between 80% and 90% of the bond amount in the event a small business defaults on the contract.

Preferred Program:
Under the Preferred Program, the participating surety companies are authorized to issue bonds with the SBA guarantee without prior SBA approval.

California Construction Contracting Program (CCCP)
The CCCP is a Caltrans - Small Business Development Center Program partnership created to provide at no cost, individual construction and business management counseling and training to small businesses, with an emphasis on construction and professional service contracting.

Statewide Alerts and Other Information

Division Links

Contact Information

Physical Address:

Department of Transportation
Division of Rail and Mass Transportation
1120 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Mailing Address:

Please choose one of the following:

(Concerning Rail Ops Support and Equipment)

Caltrans Division of Rail and Mass Transportation
MS 74
P. O. Box 942874
Sacramento, CA 94274-0001

(Concerning State and Federal Transit Programs)

Caltrans Division of Rail and Mass Transportation
MS 39
P. O. Box 942874
Sacramento, CA 94274-0001

General Information:

DRMT Phone 916-654-8811
DRMT Fax (Rail) 916-653-4565
DRMT Fax (Mass Trans) 916-654-9366
Amtrak 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245)

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