Selling to the SFMTA

Upcoming Bids

For upcoming bids, Bid and Contract Database at SFgov. RSS feed.

If you would like to know the results of a bid, contact division which conducted the bidding process for that particular bid.

If the results of a bid need to be approved by the SFMTA Board, it will appear on the SFMTA Board's agenda for a particular meeting.



The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is committed to providing a level playing field with regard to contracting and employment opportunities. The Contract Compliance Office (CCO) of the SFMTA establishes goals, evaluates bids and specifications to identify potential barriers to participation by Small Business Enterprises (SBEs), Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), and Local Business Enterprises (LBEs), and monitors contracts to ensure that contractors meet their commitments to utilizing listed firms. 

With regard to employment, the CCO also oversees prime contractors' efforts to employ economically disadvantaged individuals, monitors certified payroll, and conducts site visits to ensure that contractors meet minority and women hiring goals, pay prevailing wages, and comply with all Federal, State, and local employment requirements.


The Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) of the City and County of San Francisco, by and through its Municipal Railway Department, operator of the San Francisco Municipal Railway and its Department of Sustainable Streets, is committed to a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program and Small Business Enterprise Program for the participation of small businesses and DBEs in MUNI and Sustainable Streets contracting opportunities in accordance with the federal regulations in 49 CFR Part 26, issued March 4, 1999, as amended from time to time.  It is the policy of the MTA to ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color, sex or national origin in the award and administration of DOT-assisted contracts.  It is the intention of the MTA to create a level playing field on which Small Businesses and DBEs can compete fairly for contracts and subcontracts relating to its construction, procurement and professional services activities. SFMTA DBE Prog Policy Statement-Signed BW Copy.pdf


Virginia Harmon

One So. Van Ness Avenue, 6th Floor

San Francisco, CA 94103

(415) 701-4404

CCO Implemented Programs and Additional Information:

Small Business Program

DBE Certification

SFMTA Employment Program


Central Subway Project website

SFMTA Contract Compliance Staff

Current Contract Opportunities


The CCO conducts ongoing outreach events to inform small businesses about opportunities on SFMTA projects and prepare small businesses to participate on SFMTA projects. Outreach topics include:

  • Certification
  • Upcoming contracting opportunities
  • Meet the Prime Contractor
  • Employment opportunities
  • Contracting requirements

Contract Compliance Office
One South Van Ness Avenue, 6th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 701-4443


The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) SFMTA implements three small business contracting programs on its contracts.  The funding source determines which small business participation program we will implement on our projects. 

If the SFMTA receives funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), it will implement the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program Element of SFMTA's Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) Program.  If the SFMTA receives funding from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), it will implement a DBE program according to requirements of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), which is charged with administering the federal program in California for FHWA.

If an SFMTA contract is locally-funded, the SFMTA will implement San Francisco's Local Business Enterprise (LBE) Program in accordance with Chapter 14B of the San Francisco Administrative Code.

Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program for FTA-funded projects

The SBE Program Element defines an SBE as a for-profit, small business concern with a three - year average gross revenue not exceeding the thresholds established by the US Department of Transportation as illustrated in the chart below.

The Program Element is implemented in accordance with the federal DBE regulations at 49 CFR Part 26.  SFMTA establishes SBE participation goals on its FTA-funded projects.  For more information on this Program Element, see DBE/SBE FAQs

Businesses that want to participate as SBEs must be certified in one the following programs:

  • As a DBE in the California Unified Certification Program (CUCP).  SFMTA is a CUCP certifying agency.  To obtain an application for DBE certification
  • As an LBE in the San Francisco Local Business Enterprises Program.  LBEs are certified by the Contract Monitoring Division.  For information about LBE certification.
  • As a Small Business certified by the California Department of General Services.  For information about becoming certified as a Small Business.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program for FHWA-funded projects

This program is implemented according to Caltrans’ policies and procedures in accordance with the federal regulations at 49 CFR Part 26.  SFMTA establishes Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) participation goals and minimum qualifications on its FHWA-funded contracts. To check minimum qualifications for DBE participation.

San Francisco Local Business Enterprise (LBE) Program for locally funded projects

The program is implemented under San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 14B.  Firms certified under the City’s LBE Program qualify for a bid discount as a prime bidder or to meet the subcontracting/subconsulting goals on projects.


The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is a certifying member of the California Unified Certification Program (CUCP).  We provide Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certifications to qualified businesses in accordance with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) regulatory requirements.  Businesses meeting the minimum requirements and are located in the San Francisco and Marin counties may submit applications to the SFMTA.

Minimum Requirements

a)    The firm must be at least 51% owned by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.  The socially and disadvantaged individual must be a U.S. citizen (or resident alien). Socially and economically disadvantaged individual is a member of the following groups: Black American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian-Pacific American, Subcontinent Asian American, or Women,

b)    The firm must be an independent business, and one or more of the socially and economically disadvantaged owners must possess managerial and operational control of the business operations; the firm must not be tied to another firm in such a way as to compromise its independence and control.

The socially and economically DBE owner(s) must possess the power to direct or cause the direction to the management and policies of the firm and to make day-to-day, as well as long-term decisions on matters of management, policy and operations.

If state or local law requires the persons to have a particular license or other credential in order to own and/or control a certain type of firm, then the socially and economically disadvantaged persons who own and control a potential DBE firm of that type must possess the required license or credential.

c)    Only existing for-profit “Small Business Concerns,” as defined by the Small Business Act and Small Business Administration (SBA) regulations may be certified.  DBE applicants are first subject to the applicable small business size standards of the SBA. 

Depending upon the nature of work performed, a firm (including its affiliates) must not have annual gross receipts over $22,410,000 in the previous three fiscal years ($52,470,000 for airport concessionaires in general with some exceptions).  This size standard is for construction related work.  Depending on the type of work the business performs, other size standards may apply.

d)    The Personal Net Worth (PNW) of each socially and economically disadvantaged owner must not exceed $1,320,000, excluding the individual’s ownership interest in the applicant firm and the equity in his/her primary residence.   
                                                                                                                                               - or -

Any individual found to be socially and economically disadvantaged on a case-by-case basis by a certifying agency pursuant to the standards of the U.S. DOT 49 CFR Part 26.

It is no longer necessary to apply at more than one agency.  If your firm meets the criteria for certification, it will be entered into the Database of DBEs for all U.S. DOT grantees in California.  Only firms currently certified as eligible DBEs may participate in the DBE programs of U.S. DOT grantees of California. If you wish to be considered for DBE or Airport Concession DBE certification you will need to complete the DBE Certification Application Package.

You can get more information and download an application for the CUCP.  If you want to speak with someone about the DBE certification program, please contact the SFMTA Contract Compliance Office’s Certification Unit at (415) 701-4436.

Steps to Certification

  1. Application – Applicant submits completed application and supporting documentation.
  2. Investigation – SFMTA Contract Compliance Office (CCO) staff reviews documentation submitted by applicant, conducts an on-site visit at applicant’s place of business, during which they interview the applicant and may interview the applicant’s employees.  The CCO staff will prepare an on-site visit report, which is used in its determination of eligibility.
  3. Determination – After conducting a through review of the applicant’s documentation and information obtained during the on-site visit, CCO staff will determine if applicant meets the requirements set forth in DOT 49CFR, Part 26. 
  4. Certification – A certification letter is mailed to the applicant.  The applicant business is listed in the CUCP online directory.


SFMTA implements three employment opportunity elements: Employment Training Program, construction and First Source Hiring. All three elements benefit socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. The Employment Training Program is based on non-construction contract fees. The construction element is guided by 41 CFR 60, Executive Order 11246, the Davis Bacon Act, California Labor Code and California Code of Regulations. The First Source Hiring element applies to construction and non-construction and is guided by San Francisco’s First Source Hiring Ordinance.

Employment Training Program

SFMTA requires all consultants to comply with SFMTA’s Employment Training Program that fosters employment opportunities for economically disadvantaged individuals. San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development recruits, screens and refers candidates to consultants for Trainee opportunities through one of the community based organizations or any of the One Stop Career Center that are affiliated with the Office of Economic Workforce Development.     

The intent of the Employment Training Program is to provide technical training and job opportunities in a professional office environment for socially and economically disadvantaged individuals through the duration of the contract. In hiring prospective trainees, consultants comply with non-discrimination provisions pursuant to local, state and federal laws. Consultants hire a minimum number of professional service trainees in the area of the consultant’s expertise based on their project’s fees (see table below). One Trainee position lasts for a minimum of twelve-months for full-time positions and twenty-four months for part-time positions.

Number of Trainees

Project Fees

To Be Hired

$0 – $499,999  


$500,000 – $899,999  


$900,000 – $1,999,999  


$2,000,000 – $4,999,999  


$5,000,000 – $7,999,999  


$8,000,000 – $10,999,999  


$11,000,000 – $13,999,999  


(> = $14M, for each additional $3 million in consultant fees, add one additional trainee)


All SFMTA construction projects are subject to the Davis Bacon Act and California Labor Code 1771, codes that require prevailing wages; the higher of Davis Bacon or California rates apply.

Additionally, SFMTA implements the federal requirements of 41 CFR 60-4 and Executive Order 11246, which state that all contractors and subcontractors, which hold any federal or federally assisted construction contract in excess of $10,000, must make a good faith effort to employ minorities and women evenly on each of its projects. The hours of minority and female employment and training must be substantially uniform throughout the length of the contract and in each trade. The transfer of minority or female employees or trainees from Contractor to Contractor or from project to project for the sole purpose of meeting the Contractor's goals shall be a violation of the contract, the Executive Order and the regulations in 41 CFR part 60-4. Currently, the minority participation goal is 25.6% and the female participation goal is 6.9%.

SFMTA also implements the California Labor Code 1776, 1777 and California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 230.1. The Labor Code regulations state that contractors must submit accurate certified payroll reports; to willfully violate the codes constitutes a misdemeanor and the contractor is subject to having their ability to perform on a public work contract revoked for up to three years. The Code of Regulations states that contractors shall employ registered apprentice(s), as defined by Labor Code Section 3077, during the performance of a public work project in accordance with the required one hour of work performed by an apprentice for every five hours of labor performed by a journeyman.

To assist contractors in meeting the aforementioned hiring goals and requirements, SFMTA works with OEWD’s City Build Program to recruit, train and refer candidates who meet the specific needs of contractors. Applicants interested in construction-related employment opportunities will need to follow the five steps outlined on the City Build website.  These steps include attending a City Build Information Session included in the list of sessions in Step 1 or contacting City Build at 415.401.4889.

City Build Contacts: 

Joyce Wong                                                                                   
Workforce Compliance Officer, City Build
Office of Economic and Workforce Development
One South Van Ness, 5th Floor
San Francisco, CA  94103
Direct: (415) 701-4891
Fax: (415) 701-4897

Gilbert DeAnda
Employment Liaison, City Build
Office of Economic and Workforce Development
One South Van Ness, 5th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
Direct: (415) 701-4841
Fax: (415) 701-4896

First Source Hiring

The First Source Hiring Ordinance (FSHO) applies to construction and non-construction projects. The FSHO is under the authority of OEWD. The OEWD City Build Program monitors for compliance construction related opportunities. The OEWD Business Services team monitors for compliance the non-construction related opportunities. If the non-construction contract is for more than $50,000, then the First Source Hiring Program (Admin. Code Chapter 83) may apply. Generally, this ordinance requires contractors to notify the First Source Hiring Program of available entry-level jobs and provide the Workforce Development System with the first opportunity to refer qualified individuals for employment.

First Source Hiring Contacts:

May Ng
Business Services Specialist
City and County of San Francisco
Office of Economic and Workforce Development
One Van Ness Avenue, 5th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 701-4836
Fax: (415) 701-4897


Why did the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) discontinue setting Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) goals on its contracts funded by the Federal Transit Agency (FTA)?

On May 9, 2005, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision in Western States Paving Co. vs. Washington State Department of Transportation, et al. (9th Cir. 2005) 407 F.3d 983.  The court upheld the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) DBE regulations on their face; however, the court struck down the Washington Department of Transportation's (WSDOT) DBE program as unconstitutional.  The court held that WSDOT's DBE program was not narrowly tailored because it was not based on evidence of discrimination in the Washington State marketplace.  The court also suggested that a remedial program, such as the DBE program, is only narrowly tailored if it is limited to those minority groups that have actually suffered discrimination.  

Specifically, the court noted that WSDOT had not conducted adequate statistical studies to establish the existence of discrimination in the highway contracting industry.  Further, the court found that WSDOT's calculation of the capacity of DBEs to do work was flawed because it failed to take into account the effects of past race-conscious programs on current DBE participation.  According to the court, the disparity between DBE participation on contracts with and without race-conscious goals did not provide any evidence of on-going discrimination.  Finally, the court noted that WSDOT did not present any anecdotal evidence of discrimination.  Since this decision was issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, it applies to all states comprising the Ninth Circuit, including California.

In response to the Western States Paving decision, on March 23, 2006, DOT issued guidance concerning the federal DBE program that applies to grant recipients, such as SFMTA, in states within the Ninth Circuit.  This guidance provides that if a recipient does not currently have sufficient evidence of discrimination or its effects, then the recipient must meet its annual overall DBE goal solely through race-neutral measures.  Until the SFMTA has sufficient evidence of discrimination or its effects to justify submission of race-conscious goals, the SFMTA will use race-neutral measures to achieve its DBE goal.

What is the SBE Program?

To achieve its annual goal, the SFMTA has implemented a Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program for its contracts that are funded by the Federal Transit Administration, an operating administration of DOT.  The purpose of this SBE program is to encourage greater participation by small business firms in public contracting.

What is an SBE?

What is a DBE?

What is the personal net worth eligibility requirement for DBE certification?

How can I participate in the SBE Programs?

Small business firms may qualify for this program by enrollment in either the State of California's Small Business Program, the federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program, or the San Francisco's Local Business Enterprise (LBE) program.

How can I get my business certified as a DBE?

A firm can become a DBE through the California Unified Certification Program (CUCP).  SFMTA, which is a certifying agency for the CUCP, performs a comprehensive review and analysis of applications to determine the ownership and control of firms that apply for DBE certification.  Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria set forth in the federal regulations at 49 CFR Part 26 in order to attain DBE certification.

Applications are carefully reviewed by the Contract Compliance Office to confirm that all required documents have been submitted.  To see the list of documents that must be submitted in support of a certification application.  An on-site visit is conducted for all applications.

What are the advantages of becoming certified as an SBE or DBE?

Becoming certified as an SBE will expose your firm to work opportunities on SFMTA FTA-assisted projects.  Becoming certified as a DBE will offer your firm opportunities to participate on Federal Highway Administration (FHWA-) assisted contracts.  When responding to a solicitation, contractors must provide evidence that they meet the SBE participation goals on FTA-funded projects or that they meet the DBE participation goals established on FHWA-funded projects by seeking out and utilizing certified SBE or DBE firms.  A contractor can only receive credit toward achievement of such goals if the firm is certified as an SBE or DBE. 

Note: DBE certification can open opportunities to work on DOT-assisted transportation projects with agencies other then SFMTA.

Will obtaining a certification assure me of getting contracts and subcontracts?

No.  Certification does not guarantee work to any certified firm.  Although certification enhances a firm's exposure to prime contractors and the business community, the firm still must market itself, its personnel and its services.

How are SBE/DBE participation goals established for specific contracts?

SFMTA sets goals on contracts that have subcontracting opportunities; thus, not every contract will have a goal.  Some of the factors that are taken into consideration when setting a goal include, but are not limited to, the type of work involved, potential subcontracting items and availability of SBE or DBE firms.

Where can I find information regarding SFMTA procurement opportunities?

To find current SFMTA contract opportunities.

Does the general contractor have any responsibility in the SBE/DBE Programs?

Yes.  The contractor must first attempt to meet the SBE or DBE participation goal established on the contract by seeking out and utilizing certified SBE or DBE firms.  Once work begins, the contractor is responsible for all project work, including those of its subcontractors.  Contractors must 

How can suspected abuse of the SBE/DBE Programs be reported?

Suspected abuse should be reported to the SFMTA Contract Compliance Office at (415) 701-4436.   Written reports of suspected abuse may be submitted to: Contract Compliance Office, SFMTA, One South Van Ness Avenue, 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA  94103.


Lome Aseron
Contracts Manager
*Contract Compliance
(415) 701-5332

Spencer Charlton
Contract Compliance Officer
(Employment/Labor Compliance)
(415) 701-4344

Sheila Evans-Peguese
Senior Contract Compliance Officer
*(DBE Certification/Outreach)
(415) 701-4436

Kimberly Wilson
Senior Contract Compliance Officer
*(Employment/Labor Compliance)
(415) 701-4428

Naomi Steinway
Contract Compliance Officer
(415) 701-4363

Preston Tom
Senior Contract Compliance Officer
(415) 701-4437

*Contact for compliance areas indicated