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The Regional Transportation District of Denver (RTD) last month surpassed the billion-dollar mark for payments made to small businesses for contract work through the agency's FasTracks transit expansion program.Beginning in 2005 with an award to Jacobs Engineering Group to manage the project, FasTracks contracts have benefited more than 600 small and disadvantaged firms, and 2,200 subcontractors, RTD officials said in a press release.Contracts have ranged from thousands to millions of dollars, with many firms receiving more than one award."Small businesses have literally laid the foundation for each of our projects," said RTD Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Dave Genova. "Reaching this milestone is a testament to the strong partnerships built among our agency, prime contractors, resource partners and hundreds of small businesses."RTD will mark the milestone at a special event to be held next week.FasTracks is a multibillion-dollar transit expansion plan that includes construction of 122 miles of new commuter- and light-rail lines. Among the latest projects underway is construction of a 2.3-mile extension of the Southeast Rail Line.As a recipient of federal funds, RTD is required to have a disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) program for its federally funded construction, design and engineering work. Over the past three years, RTD met and at times exceeded its DBE goal of 19 percent on federally funded projects, agency officials said. Most recently, for federal fiscal-years 2017 through 2019, the agency set a more aggressive DBE goal of 24 percent, they said.
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