Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program Office

Program Objectives

DBE Program objectives are:

  • To ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of US Department of Transportation-assisted contracts in the Department’s highway, transit, and airport financial assistance programs;
  • To create a level playing field on which DBEs can compete fairly for DOT-assisted contracts;
  • To ensure that the Department’s DBE program is narrowly tailored in accordance with applicable law;
  • To ensure that only firms that fully meet this part’s eligibility standards are permitted to participate as DBEs;
  • To help remove barriers to the participation of DBEs in DOT-assisted contracts;
  • To promote the use of DBEs in all types of federally assisted contracts and procurement activities conducted by recipients.
  • To assist the development of firms that can compete successfully in the marketplace outside the DBE program; and
  • To provide appropriate flexibility to recipients of Federal financial assistance in establishing and providing opportunities for DBEs.

Goals and Methodology

In accordance with the DBE regulations codified at 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 26 (49 CFR, Part 26), DSEPTA developed its triennial DBE participation methodology and goal (PDF).

The DBE goal established for federal Fiscal years 2021 through 2023 is 13 percent.

Proposed 2024-2026 Goal and Methodology

SEPTA’s Proposed DBE goal for Fiscal Years 2024 through 2026 is 19 percent. Download the related documents:

SEPTA supports equal opportunity for small, minority, and women-owned businesses. View SEPTA’s DBE Policy Statement (PDF).

Our Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program sets up guidelines for the participation of firms owned and operated by socially and economically disadvantaged persons. We provide technical assistance, training, and other resources for vendors looking to do business with us. Contact us at DBEProgram@septa.org or 215-580-7278.

Eligibility Criteria

The business must be 51% owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual(s):

Socially Disadvantaged

United States citizens or lawfully admitted permanent residents who are:

  • Women
  • Black American
  • Hispanic American
  • Native American
  • Asian-Pacific American
  • Subcontinent Asian American

Economically Disadvantaged

Firms are subject to applicable small business size standards:

  • An individual(s) claiming social and economic disadvantaged personal net worth cannot exceed $1.32 million

Read more about DBE certification

Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program

In accordance with 49 Code of Federal Regulations 26.39: Fostering Small Business Participation, SEPTA has amended its DBE Program Plan to include a Small Business element. Firms wishing to participate as an SBE must meet the same criteria of the DBE Program but are not required to be socially disadvantaged.

Qualifying and interested firms must complete an SBE Certification Application and submit it with the required supporting documentation at the link below.

Currently Certified Pennsylvania Unified Certification Program (PAUCP) DBEs: Your DBE status automatically qualifies you for participation in the SBE program. Do not complete an SBE application.

Apply Online