The MTA has been a consistent state leader in working with MWDBE firms.  -  Photo: Marc A. Hermann

The MTA has been a consistent state leader in working with MWDBE firms.

Photo: Marc A. Hermann

The New York MTA signed the “Equity in Infrastructure Project” Pledge to further its commitment to inclusion when awarding contracts for construction projects.

The pledge affirms the MTA will ensure participation on at least $1 billion of work by Minority- and Women-owned (MWBE) or Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) firms every year and award larger contracts to small businesses, as well as expand the pool of MW/DBE firms the MTA works with and increase discretionary contracts for design and engineering MWBE firms by 20% over the next five years.

“Racism and inequity have played a significant role in paving the landscape of New York State, and our infrastructure is a stark reminder of that history,” said New York Gov. Kathy Hochul. “My commitment to equity, to expanding transit opportunities, and to Minority- and Women-owned Businesses is a commitment to building our state in a way that lifts up all New Yorkers.”

Building Equity

At the official signing, MTA officials were joined by “Equity in Infrastructure Project” (EIP) founders Phillip A. Washington and John D. Porcari, as well as Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Dorval R. Carter Jr., who also serves as EIP chair.

The station is currently undergoing upgrades to make the station accessible in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). More than two dozen minority- or women-owned firms are working on this project, with over $45 million in contracts to those firms.

“I talk a lot about the transit system as New York’s engine of equity — it gives everybody access to jobs and education, and it’s one of the few things that makes this city affordable,” said MTA Chair/CEO Janno Lieber. “At the MTA, equity also features prominently. In 2023 almost 40% of all MTA contracts awarded went to MWBEs, accounting for over $800 million. Once we eliminate the final hurdles to congestion pricing, we intend to quickly rev the engine back up on vital State of Good Repair projects and we will look to MWBE firms to help complete that work.”

Continuing to Lead

The MTA has been a consistent state leader in working with MWDBE firms. Going back to 2020, the authority has surpassed the New York State MWBE goal of 30% participation every year, accounting for over $2.5 billion in contracts during that time.

The MTA ranks number one of all New York State agencies and public authorities in dollars paid to MWBE firms.

Last year, the MTA awarded over $813.5 million in contracts across more than 500 MWBE firms accounting for approximately 37% of overall contracts. That is in addition to the $392.3 million paid to DBE firms, and $16.7 million to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.

The MTA has also awarded nearly $70 million to small businesses through its Small Business Development Program.

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