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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a Disparity Study?

disparity study examines whether there are disparities, or differences, between:

  • The percentage of dollars that minority- and woman-owned businesses received on an agency’s prime contracts and subcontracts during a particular time period (referred to as a utilization analysis ); and
  • The percentage of dollars that those firms would be expected to receive based on their availability to perform on the agency’s prime contracts and subcontracts (referred to as an availability analysis ).

In addition to utilization, availability, and disparity analyses, disparity studies examine other quantitative and qualitative information regarding:

  • Legal considerations surrounding implementations of the Federal DBE Program and other small business programs;
  • Conditions in the local marketplace for minorities, women, and minority- and woman-owned businesses;
  • Contracting practices and business assistance programs that the agency currently has in place; and
  • Potential program measures for the agency to consider implementing as part of the federal DBE Program or other small business programs.

Q. What will Metro do with information from the disparity study?

Information collected as a part of the 2017 Metro Disparity Study will inform its implementation of the federal DBE program. In addition, the study will help Metro to monitor minority- and woman-owned business participation on its contracts.

Among other information, the disparity study will provide Metro with an independent, objective review of minority- and woman-owned business participation in its transportation-related construction; architecture and engineering; professional services; goods; and other services prime contracts and subcontracts. That information will be valuable to Metro’s leadership and to external groups that may be monitoring Metro’s contracting practices. In addition, the study will provide insights about how Metro might improve contracting opportunities for local small businesses, many of which are minority- or woman-owned.

Q. How can I participate in the disparity study process?

There are several ways in which you can participate in the 2017 Metro Disparity Study:

Share your experiences working in the local marketplace by submitting verbal testimony to

Join us for a public meeting where you can learn more about the disparity study process, submit verbal testimony, and ask questions. To find out when Metro and the BBC study team will be conducting a public meeting near you, go to the Events [AH1] page.

Respond to our requests to complete a survey , which will begin taking place in February 2017. If you are a business owner in the Los Angeles area, you may be contacted as a part of the utilization or availability survey process. If you are contacted for a survey, please help the study team by responding to the request in a timely manner.

Call us [AH2] if you have any unanswered questions about the study.

[AH1] This will link to the “Events” page

[AH2] This generally takes the user to the “Key Contacts” section on the home page. It is up to your discretion regarding who you would like to be the contact and what phone number you want them to be directed to.

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