Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program

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 (PDF) (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:

OCR DBE database

Bidders List (XLSX)

DBE Threshold Questionnaire (DOCX)

ADM-0312 (PDF)

ADM-0227 (PDF)

Form 9D (XLSX)

Tips for Completing Form 9D (PDF)

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.

Proposed Triannual DBE Goal and Methodology for FFY 2019-2022

DBE Program Plan

First, subrecipients must adhere to the California State Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program Plan (PDF) as it applies to local agencies. Additionally, subrecipients must submit a completed Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Race-Neutral and Race Conscious Implementation Agreement (PDF) 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:

Getting Work on our Contracts

Interested parties may contact awarded sub-recipients to gain information about upcoming available work.  This report is updated on a 2-3 year cycle. More information about the next cycle coming in January 2020

How do I

Federal Regulations/Statute

California State Regulations/Statute