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Doing Business with SANDAG

2019 SANDAG Disparity Study for FTA-Funded Procurements




Pursuant to guidance from the United States Department of Transportation, approximately every five years SANDAG conducts an extensive review of its Federal Transit Administration (FTA) contracting program to determine if there is a disparity between the number of women and minority-owned businesses within the geographic market area that are ready, willing, and able to provide goods and services, and the number of these businesses that are actually participating in FTA-funded SANDAG contracts. Further, this review includes analysis of procurements that did not have a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) goal in order to determine if there are any indicators of discrimination against women- and minority-owned businesses. The results of the Disparity Study guide recommendations from staff regarding DBE goals at the agency level as well as the contract level on procurements using FTA funding. A separate disparity study is prepared by the California Department of Transportation for procurements using Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funding.


There is significant financial advantage for public agencies within a similar geographic area to work together as a consortium to conduct a disparity study. Broad data that is compiled about the market area can then be utilized uniquely by each agency as it implements its own FTA DBE Program. SANDAG and North County Transit District formed a consortium to conduct this study with SANDAG as the lead agency. Each consortium agency received a customized Disparity Study report focused on its organization.

The Disparity Study began in April 2019 and reviewed data on all contracts that SANDAG awarded from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2017. The study also extensively analyzed minority and women-owned businesses across the relevant regions through public workshops, in-person interviews, telephone surveys, meetings with trade associations, written testimony, and business databases. The results of the Disparity Study can be accessed here: Disparity Study - Executive Summary and Disparity Study - Final Report.

The SANDAG Board of Directors accepted the DBE Disparity Study for FTA funded projects on March 26, 2021. The Disparity Study and its proposed recommendations are in the process of being shared with the FTA for consideration and approval. Upon FTA approval, SANDAG will incorporate all FTA approved recommendations into its DBE Program.


If you have any questions or comments regarding the Disparity Study, please contact:

Elaine Richardson
Director, Office of Diversity and Equity
DBE Liaison Officer
401 B Street, Suite 800
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 699-6956

SANDAG Disparity Study Archives

2014 SANDAG Disparity Study
2009 SANDAG Disparity Study