Office of Civil Rights, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, equity & inclusion makes us stronger, as individuals and as an organization. We are committed to creating equitable processes and outcomes across our region.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program

DBE program goals

Sound Transit’s 2021-22 DBE goal is 16.39%

DBE Program Plan

DBE program objectives

  1. Ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of federally-funded contracts.
  2. Create a level playing field where DBEs can compete fairly for federally funded contracts.
  3. Help remove barriers to DBE participation in the bidding, award, and administration of Sound Transit contracts.
  4. Assist in the development of DBEs so they can compete successfully in the market outside of the DBE program.
  5. Ensure that only firms that fully meet the eligibility standards of 49 CFR Part 26 are permitted to participate as DBEs.
  6. Ensure that the DBE Program is narrowly tailored in accordance with applicable law.
  7. Identify business enterprises that are qualified as DBEs and are qualified to provide Sound Transit with required materials, equipment, supplies and services; and to develop a good rapport with the owners and management of those enterprises. This will include DBE round tables, DBE notification by electronic notices and networking sessions.  
  8. Develop communication programs and procedures that will acquaint prospective DBEs with Sound Transit contract procedures, activities and requirements that allow DBEs to provide Sound Transit with feedback regarding existing barriers to participation and effective procedures to eliminate those barriers;  
  9. Administer the DBE Program in close coordination with the various Sound Transit departments so as to facilitate the successful implementation of this Program;  
  10. Foster participation by small businesses by implementing the strategies set forth in this DBE Program; and  
  11. Promote the use of all types of DBEs. 

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 the "Do You Qualify as a DBE?" page of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Civil Rights website.

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.

For information on DBE Fraud please see these FAQs and this brochure.