Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program


 DBE Program Background
 SDO Certification
 DBE Program Support/Contacts
 DBE Directory
 Business Opportunities and Solicitation Information
 Frequently Asked Questions
 MBTA DBE Goal FY18 - FY20

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DBE Program Background

The MBTA’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program was established in accordance with 49 Code of Federal Regulation Part 26 and is a requirement of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) as a condition of receiving federal assistance.

The DBE Program promotes business opportunities for firms owned by minority, women and other disadvantaged individuals and which are certified as DBEs through the Supplier Diversity Office (See SDO Certification section). The objective of the DBE Program is to support equal access to MBTA contracting opportunities for DBE firms to compete for awards and procurements as contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and providers of goods and services.  The MBTA’s Office of Diversity and Civil Rights (ODCR) is responsible for the development, implementation, monitoring, and enforcement of the DBE Program. ODCR’s Government Compliance Unit manages all aspects of the DBE Program and works together with MBTA’s procurement departments to identify business opportunities for certified DBEs. 

It is the policy of the MBTA:

  1. To ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of DOT-assisted contracts;
  2. To create a level playing field on which DBEs can compete fairly for DOT-assisted contracts;
  3. To ensure that the DBE Program is narrowly tailored in accordance with applicable law;
  4. To ensure that only firms that fully meet 49 CFR Part 26 eligibility standards are permitted to participate DBEs;
  5. To help remove barriers to the participation of DBEs in DOT-assisted contracts; and,
  6. To assist the development of firms that can compete successfully in the market place outside the DBE Program.

In administering the DBE program, the MBTA will not:

  1. Exclude any person from participation in the award and performance of any contract on the basis of age, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, disability or national origin;
  2. Directly or through contractual or other arrangements, use criteria or methods of administration that have the effect of defeating or substantially impairing accomplishment of the objectives of 49 CFR 26; and,
  3. Use quotas or set-asides on any DOT-assisted contracts.

Since its inception, the DBE Program has evolved to meet the needs of a demanding marketplace, but its primary purpose remains the same: to inform DBEs of partnership and procurement opportunities at the MBTA and promote a more diverse and viable pool of bidders.

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Supplier Diversity Office (SDO)

To become certified as a DBE, a firm must file an application with the Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) Unified Certification Program (UCP). The certification process takes about 30 - 60 business days. To obtain more information on the DBE certification process, please contact:

 Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) - DBE  
State Transportation Building
10 Park Plaza, Suite 2600-B
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: (617) 701-8010


Although any firm may participate in DOT-assisted contracts, only those firms certified as DBEs may count towards DBE contract goals. (See Frequently Asked Questions for more information about contract goals).

Benefits of being a SDO-certified DBE include:

  • Inclusion in SDO’s DBE directory
  • Improved opportunities to partner with other MBTA contractors, vendors and bidders for federal contracts
  • Participation counts towards DBE contract goals on DOT-assisted contracts
  • Invitations to business forums and other networking events

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DBE Program Support/Contacts

To obtain more information about the DBE program, or if you have questions or comments, please contact:

Office of Diversity and Civil Rights (ODCR)
Government Compliance Unit

10 Park Plaza, Room 3800
Boston, MA  02116
Phone: (857) 368-8580
Fax: (617) 222-3263
Email:  dbe@mbta.com

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DBE Directory

The Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) maintains a list of certified DBEs and allows interested MBTA bidders to search and sort the list by the following options:

  • Business type (for profit, non-profit)
  • Certification type (minority, women, and/or disadvantaged business)
  • Key word (such as name of company or service)
  • Criteria (NAICS code, zip code)

Link to SDO Business Directory:  https://www.sdo.osd.state.ma.us/BusinessDirectory/BusinessDirectory.aspx


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