The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), in San Francisco, could be about to take an historic step by giving a bid preference to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) contractors.
The public transport system’s board is set to vote on giving qualified LGBT contractors a five per cent bid preference on small business prime contractors on September 14, by making a change to its Small Business Programme.
BART said that LGBT businesses still face barriers in the marketplace – especially the construction industry – and hoped to welcome LGBT-owned business to be part of the effort to rebuild the system.
BART board president Rebecca Saltzman said: “BART has established a track record of prioritising local, small, disadvantaged, and women-run businesses and this change will be a natural extension of those efforts.
“We want to do everything we can as an agency to make contracting more inclusive.”
To qualify under the proposed new policy, an LGBT contractor would have to be certified by either the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce or the California Public Utilities Commission as well as certified as a small business by California’s Department of General Services.