FHWA Disparity Study
The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program
The DBE program ensures that federally assisted contracts for highway, transit and aviation projects are made available for small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. The program is administered by the three modal administrations (i.e., FHWA, FTA, and FAA) with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) maintaining a significant stewardship role for the program. Implementation of the DBE program is guided by USDOT regulations found at 49 CFR Part 26 (Part 23 for airport concessions).
Caltrans is required by the federal government to set an overall DBE goal that they must either meet, or show that they used good faith efforts to meet, annually. This goal is in the form of a percentage of federal funds apportioned annually and is calculated based upon the relative availability of DBE firms as compared to all firms in the relevant geographic market area.
- 2016 FHWA Memorandum on Goal Setting
- 2015 FHWA Memorandum on Goal Setting (PDF)
- 2013 FHWA Memorandum on Goal Setting
- US DOT Tips for Goal Setting
Disparity Study Assistance