Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Outreach

Business Outreach Committee
WETA is a member of the Business Outreach Committee (BOC). The BOC is a consortium of Bay Area transit agencies that assists small disadvantaged and local firms in doing business with Bay Area transportation agencies. It publishes a newsletter and holds frequent networking events and buyers forums.

Upcoming Contracting Opportunities
WETA's upcoming contracting opportunities are listed in the Business Outreach Committee's Quarterly newsletter.

Upcoming Events
The Go-Biz Office of Small Business Advocate virtual Open House - 10/6 at 10 am. 

DBE and SBE Information

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program
WETA is a recipient of federal financial assistance from the Federal Transit Administration ("FTA") and the Federal Highway Administration ("FHWA") of the U.S. DOT and is required to implement a DBE Program in accordance with 49 CFR Part 26.

The purpose of WETA's DBE Program is to ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of federally funded contracts and to create a level playing field on which DBEs can compete fairly for federally funded contracts.

A DBE is a certified, for-profit small business concern (1) that is at least 51 percent owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged, or, in the case of a corporation, where 51 percent of the stock is owned by one or more such individuals; and (2) whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of the socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who own it.

FFY 23-25 DBE Goal (Approved)

WETA has developed a 0.48% DBE goal with a 100% race neutral and 0% race conscious split, applicable to $79,936,315 of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) dollars that are budgeted for 27 projects with contracts anticipated to be awarded from October 1, 2023, through September 30, 2025. WETA's DBE goal was approved by the FTA on November 17, 2022.

The type of contracts included in WETA’s FFY 23-25 overall goal consist of 22 vessel engine overhaul projects, 3 vessel refurbishment projects, 1 dredging project, and the agency’s ferry service operations contract. The table below breaks these contracts down by type and notes the percentage of federal funds expected to be used during FFY 23-25 on these categories. For further information on this goal, read the Concurrence Letter (PDF)


Contract Type

FTA Dollars


FTA Dollars Projected for DBEs

Vessel Refurbishment




Vessel Engine Overhaul












Total FTA Dollars and DBE Dollars





FTA Dollars Projected for DBEs

FTA Budgeted


Annual Overall Goal





In coordination with the Business Outreach Committee, WETA co-hosted a public participation meeting to provide  an overview of the DBE program, the DBE goal setting process, and request input from the public on WETA’s Draft proposed DBE goal. proposed DBE goal.  The meeting was recorded and be accessed in the links below:


Public Participation Meeting – April 11

Presentation: https://www.goldengate.org/assets/1/6/final_public_participation_meeting_presentation_april_11_2022.pdf 
Recording: https://goldengate.webex.com/recordingservice/sites/goldengate/recording/533db8799bf3103a9ca9c22ff4ecfe39/playback
Password: ppm411

Public Participation Meeting – April 26
Presentation: https://www.goldengate.org/assets/1/6/april_26_public_participation_meeting_presentation2.pdf 
Recording: https://goldengate.webex.com/recordingservice/sites/goldengate/recording/1327905ea7b0103ab9ff1aca0dfb00a6/playback  
Password: ppm426

As part of outreach on the development of the agency’s DBE Goal, WETA is requesting comments from interest parties on the proposed Draft DBE goal for FY23-25.  To provide public comments on the DBE goal, please contact WETA’s Program Specialist, Terence Candell at candell@watertransit.org.

FFY 20-22 DBE Goal
In accordance with 49 CFR Part 26, WETA has established a 0.24% DBE goal applicable to $14,708,683 of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) dollars that are budgeted for 26 projects with contracts anticipated to be awarded from October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2022. For further information read the entire FFY20-22 DBE Goal Analysis Report (PDF).

Small Business Enterprise Element (SBE)
WETA has established a Small Business Enterprise element (SBE Program) as one of its race-neutral methods of achieving small business participation, including disadvantaged business participation, on particular contracts with subcontracting opportunities. This SBE element applies to all federally funded WETA contracts where race-neutral and gender-neutral methods are employed. WETA will take all reasonable steps to eliminate obstacles for SBEs to participate as prime contractors or subcontractors in the WETA's procurement activities. DBEs are by definition considered to be SBEs and are covered in all references to SBEs.

FFY20-22 SBE Goal
WETA's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program requires the establishment of an overall Small Business Enterprise (SBE) goal for each triennial DBE goal period using the same methodology as the DBE overall goal. WETA has developed a 7.5% SBE goal applicable to $14,708,683 of FTA dollars that are budgeted for 26 projects with contracts anticipated to be awarded from October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2022. For further information read the FFY20-20 SBE Goal Analysis Report(PDF)

How to Find DBEs?
WETA only accepts DBE firms certified through the California Unified Certification Program (CUCP). DBEs must be certified with the CUCP upon contract award. The CUCP DBE database contains up-to-date information on certified DBE firms and can be used to find certified DBE firms for solicitation to meet DBE goal and contracting requirements. This database is intended to expand the use of DBE firms by maintaining complete and current information on those businesses and the products and services they can provide. The entire database can be downloaded or exported. To find a certified DBE firm, visit https://caltrans.dbesystem.com/.

How to Become a DBE?
The CUCP is charged with overseeing DBE certification activities performed by the various certifying agencies. CUCP certifying agencies are responsible for certifying DBE firms. It is not necessary to apply for DBE certification at more than one agency. Please note: The Water Emergency Transportation Authority is not a certifying agency.

The application to become a newly certified DBE can take up to 90 days. For more information on becoming a DBE and to download the application, please visit https://dot.ca.gov/programs/civil-rights/dbe-certification-information.

Current DBE firms that are located outside of California must go through an interstate certification process with the CUCP. There is an expedited application for interstate DBE certification, however, this process can still take 30-60 days. Firms may request a copy of the out of state declaration by writing to DBE.Certification@dot.ca.gov.

California Unified Certification Program (CUCP)
The CUCP provides "one-stop shopping" certification services to small, minority and women business seeking to participate in the U.S. Department of Transportation DBE Program. Visit https://caltrans.dbesystem.com/.

2022 Electric Vessel Construction Project and Associated DBE Project Goal

On October 13, WETA hosted a webinar along with Golden Gate Bridge and Highway Transportation District, providing an overview of both WETA’s and Golden Gate Ferry’s upcoming vessel construction projects and technical specifications, include an opportunity for participants to ask questions, and to disseminate information on interested primes and subcontractors. The webinar provided participants with an opportunity to comment on the project's proposed Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) goal, as required by FTA regulations.

For more information on our Vessel Construction Project goal, click here. 

Contact Us

DBE Administrator
Lauren Gularte