Doing Business with Us

RTA strives to establish a level playing field for the various businesses that compete for the taxpayer dollars we spend. The RTA also works to ensure that the businesses and workforce building our regional transit system represent the demographics of our region.

Disadvantaged and Small Business Enterprise

Diversity, equity and inclusion makes us stronger, as individuals and as an organization. We are committed to creating equitable processes and outcomes across our region.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program

Under the DBE Program, the RTA has established participation goals for federally funded contracts by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The DBE Program is established in accordance with the previsions under 49 Code of Federal Regulation Part 26 and is a requirement of DOT as a condition of receiving federal assistance.

  • Your firm is at least 51% owned by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual (or individuals) who also controls the firm.
  • The disadvantaged owner is a U.S. citizen or lawfully admitted permanent resident of the United States.
  • To be considered economically disadvantaged, the individual’s Personal Net Worth, not including their primary place of residence or ownership in the business cannot exceed $1.32 million in compliance with the 49 CFR Part 26.67.
  • Your firm is a small business that meets the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) size standard and does not exceed $30.4 million in gross annual receipts.
  • Your firm is organized as a for-profit business.

We are pleased to announce the implementation of a cloud-based portal, the NORTA Diversity Compliance System powered by B2Gnow, to process Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) application certifications. The DBE program is managed by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority’s DBE Department. 

The B2Gnow system represents a significant technological advancement and replaces the previous manual process of DBE certification which helps increase operational efficiency. This cloud-based software is being utilized by over 200 cities, counties, and other public agencies throughout the nation. 

DBE certification is accessible, at no charge, to all eligible vendors doing – or interested in doing – business with NORTA. Key features include the following: 

  • Online applications for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification or re-certification 
  • Enhanced online DBE Directory with key-word search capabilities 
  • Electronic submission of changes to DBE vendor profiles 
  • Online and web-based training for use of the NORTA Diversity Compliance System 
  • Questions and issues addressed in real or near-real time 

NORTA staff will be connected to the certification portal to assist with DBE program policy issues that may arise, but most questions/concerns can be addressed directly 24/7 by clicking the Contract Support button on the NORTA Diversity Compliance System Home Page. 

All currently certified NORTA DBEs have been added to the new directory. 

Click to access our new DBE Portal (external link)



Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program

  • The RTA Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program is open to all business owners regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender. To be an eligible Small Business Enterprise, a business must have a least 51% ownership by a person who is economically disadvantaged. To be considered economically disadvantaged, the individual’s Personal Net Worth, not including their primary place of residence or ownership in the business, cannot exceed $1.32 million in compliance with the 49 CFR Part 26.67. An SBE business owner must be a U.S. citizen or lawfully permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Additionally, the business must be for-profit and must not exceed the annual gross receipts cap of $30.4 million per year as defined in 49 CFR Part 26 and must meet the size criteria defined by the Small Business Administration. SBE size standards can be accessed here.
  • Businesses that are currently DBE certified with the Louisiana Unified Certification Program (LAUCP) must submit an SBE Affidavit of Certification Eligibility. Businesses that are not currently DBE certified must submit a complete DBE Certification application with all supporting documentation.
  • Certification by the State/Local Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (SLDBE) program for the City of New Orleans or the Sewerage and Water Board (S&WB) does not automatically qualify the firm for either DBE or SBE status with the RTA. Small and Disadvantaged businesses seeking to participate in the RTA’s DBE or SBE programs must have DBE certification through the LAUCP and/or the SBE certification through the RTA.

Please use the PDF forms below and follow their instructions to apply for DBE Certification through the RTA. Once you have applied for and received DBE certification, you can bid on RTA projects as a DBE vendor.

The SBE Program is used for both federally and non-federally funded procurement projects at the RTA. As such, once your business is certified as a SBE you can bid on both federal and non-federal projects as a small business.



Have any questions?

Contact the DBE/SBE office:

Adonis C. Exposé
DBE/SBE Liaison Officer III
(504) 827-8301
Keziah Lee Cawthorne
DBE Program Administrator II
(504) 827-8362

The State of Louisiana has identified the RTA as certifying agency for the States Unified Certification Program containing the definitions, requirements, processes, and forms to be used by a number of certifying agencies.

DBE Online Certification Portal

Easily apply for DBE certification online.