BART gives boost to minority- and women-owned businesses

BART gives boost to minority- and women-owned businesses

Using funds already set aside in its capital budget, BART intends to inject up to $45 million dollars over the next five years into the local economy with much of that money going to minority- and women-owned businesses. These types of businesses are formally called Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs).

On Thursday, May 14, the BART Board of Directors authorized the General Manager to award up to $45 million worth of general engineering services contracts to three local prime contractors that will in turn retain 54 subcontractors. 18 of those subcontractors are officially certified as DBEs.

"These contracts are being awarded strictly on the basis of merit and qualification," BART Board President Thomas Blalock said. "It’s great to see that BART’s capital budget money will put people to work who reflect our system’s diverse ridership."

The $45 million to pay for the contracts comes entirely from BART’s capital budget so it has no impact on the nearly $250 million, four-year operating budget deficit that BART’s Board is trying to close.

The General Manager is authorized to enter into three contracts. One is with San Francisco-based PGH Wong Engineering, Inc. Another is with Oakland’s Kal Krishnan Consulting Services, Inc. (a DBE) and the third is with a joint venture formed by two Oakland firms: B&C-URS Joint Venture. Each contract is for five years and is not to exceed $15 million each.

The subcontractors operating under their contracts will provide a wide range of architecture and engineering services for BART capital projects including the eBART extension into eastern Contra Costa County, modernizing stations and train control improvements.

The authorization of these contracts is just one of the ways the BART Board is spurring the local economy and providing work for minority and women owned enterprises. "Even as we enter into these multi-year agreements, BART will have upcoming opportunities for small firms to participate as prime contractors, not just subcontractors," Board Member Carole Ward Allen said. "With so many qualified minority- and women-owned businesses in the Bay Area, we anticipate that they will continue to participate in our upcoming contract awards."

• Three $15 million, five-year contracts
• 54 subcontractors
• 18 subcontractors are Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs)
• Contracts awarded on merit and qualification
• Contracts for architecture and engineering of BART capital projects