A team of students at Virginia Commonwealth University students has received a 2013-2014 Ford Community College Challenge grant of $25,000.

The grant is awarded to colleges and universities for projects that support service learning on campus.

The team, made up of students from the VCU schools of Business and Engineering, the College of Humanities and Sciences, and counterparts from the University of Richmond, received the $25,000 grant for its project, "Building Sustainable Transportation in RVA."

These students will help develop RVAPASS, a smartphone-enabled multimodal transportation access and payment system that will unify Richmond's transportation network, according to a news release.

The application will be designed to provide easier mobility for residents and visitors and to reduce vehicle miles traveled.

For more information about the project, see portion of press release below:

"VCU is very proud to be part of the Ford Motor Co. C3 grant universities that were selected to participate in this important and impactful endeavor," said Van R. Wood, Ph.D., Philip Morris Chair in International Business, and professor of marketing in the VCU School of Business. "The list of universities receiving grants represents a most prestigious group of research-oriented, community-focused institutions of higher education. VCU has worked with Ford over the past three years on other projects and sincerely appreciates the opportunity to collaborate in partnership with this outstanding global, Fortune 50 company."

The Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3) is a national challenge grant competition that recognizes colleges and universities that utilize a school's resources to address an urgent community need related to the grant's theme: “Building Sustainable Communities.” Unlike many college grant programs, Ford C3 requires colleges to create proposals that have significant student input, involvement and leadership from beginning to end.

The student team is collaborating with the Bryan Innovation Lab at The Steward School. The Bryan Innovation Lab is the fiscal agent for the grant and is partnering with Project STIR and Richmond 2015 to support the student-led project.

“We built the Bryan Innovation Lab to give our students a space where they could ask and answer open-ended problems that affect our community," said Cary Jamieson, director of the Bryan Innovation Lab at The Steward School. "We love that students at VCU and UR will model this kind of creative problem-solving for our students.”

“Building Sustainable Transportation in RVA” aims to help low-income community members gain access to jobs across the Richmond region as well as support the run up to the 2015 UCI Road World Cycling Championship, which is expected to bring more than 450,000 spectators to the city.