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Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program   

MARTA's Board of Directors strongly supports the participation of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises. Our program is based on 49CFR26. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is responsible for assuring that all vendors are treated equitably in accordance with Federal laws and regulations governing the participation of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises. In addition we assist Disadvantaged Businesses (small, minority and women owned companies) in obtaining opportunities with MARTA's procurement of goods and services.


  • To create a level playing field on which such firms can compete fairly for MARTA contracts;
  • Ensure non-discrimination in the award and administration of United States Department  of Transportation (USDOT)-assisted contracts;
  • Increase participation of qualified firms that are owned, operated and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals in the award and administration of USDOT-assisted contracts;
  • Help remove present and past barriers to the participation of DBEs in USDOT-assisted contracts;
  • To ensure that the DBE program is narrowly tailored in accordance with applicable law;
  • To ensure that only firms that meet all the eligibility standards are permitted to participate as DBE firms; and
  • To assist in the development of firms that con compete successfully in the marketplace outside the DBE program.


For Federal Fiscal Years 2015-2017, MARTA established a DBE program goal of 30%; 25% race conscious; and 5% race neutral.  MARTA intends to award at least 30% of its total DOT-assisted contracts with qualified DBE firms through race conscious and race neutral means.


Owner(s) must own 51 percent of the firm and be a member(s) of one of the following groups:

  • Women (Regardless of race)
  • Black Americans
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Native Americans
  • Asian-Pacific Americans
  • Subcontinent Asian Americans

Any additional groups whose members are designated as socially and economically disadvantaged by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and has a personal net worth not to exceed $1.32 million (minus the value of their principal residence and interest in the business).


Socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society because of their identities as members of groups and without regard to their individual qualities. Social disadvantage must stem from circumstances beyond their control. Evidence of individual social disadvantage must include the following elements:

(A) At least one objective distinguishing feature that has contributed to social disadvantage, such as race, ethnic origin, gender, disability, long-term residence in an environment isolated from the mainstream of American society, or other similar causes not common to individuals who are not socially disadvantaged;

(B) Personal experiences of substantial and chronic social disadvantage in American society, not in other countries; and

(C) Negative impact on entry into or advancement in the business world because of the disadvantage.


Economically disadvantaged individuals are socially disadvantaged individuals whose ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities as compared to others in the same or similar line of business who are not socially disadvantaged. Each individual claiming economic disadvantage must describe the conditions which are the basis for the claim in a narrative statement, and must submit personal financial information.



For more information on the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program, or to become DBE certified; and to update your firm’s profile  

Antoine Smith
Manager, Supplier Diversity





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