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Metro  retained BBC Research & Consulting (BBC) to conduct a 12-month Disparity Study (Study).   The Study began in November 2016 draft report released in a 45-day public comment period to receive input from stakeholders on the Study results. A final Study report will be released upon the close of the public comment period.

The Study:

  • Focused on many aspects of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program and seeks to identify the percentage of relevant contract dollars Metro awarded to minority-owned and woman-owned firms  during  the five year Study period from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2015.
  • Determined the percentage of contract dollars that minority and woman-owned businesses might be expected to receive based on their availability to perform specific types and sizes of contracts that Metro typically awards.
  • Examined the local market conditions, contracting policies, and assist Metro in implementing the federal DBE program in a legally-defensible manner.
  • Satisfies the legal standards established by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Western States Paving Co., Inc. v. Washington State Department of Transportation, 407 F. 3d 983 (9th Cir. 2005) and guidance from the U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Transit Administration (FTA) concerning the implementation of federal DBE contracting programs.
  • Provides availability and disparity analysis for consideration in the establishment of Metro’s overall DBE goal.


The Study includes a comprehensive analysis of:

  • The percentage of total transportation-related construction; architecture and engineering; professional services; goods; and other services contract dollars that minority- and woman-owned businesses received on prime contracts and subcontracts between January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2015 (referred to as utilization );
  • The percentage of dollars that those businesses would be expected to receive based on their availability to perform work on such prime contracts and subcontracts (referred to as availability );
  • Any differences between the participation of minority- and woman-owned businesses in relevant contracts and the availability of those businesses to perform that work (referred to as disparities);
  • Legal considerations surrounding implementation of the federal DBE program;
  • Marketplace conditions for minorities, women, and minority- and woman-owned businesses;
  • Contracting practices and assistance programs that Metro currently has in place; and
  • Potential program measures that Metro could consider implementing as part of its implementation of the federal DBE program or other small business programs.