Pope Francis to drive in Jeepney in the Philippines

January 13, 2015 05:45 PM
Pope Francis is one of the most recognizable figures in the world, and that can make it difficult to get around. Although he has his trusty popemobile for use in Vatican City, he needs to rely on other modes of transportation when he travels. That's why he'll be branching out during his trip to the Philippines and riding in one of the country's iconic jeepneys. Inside the jeepney The jeepney's roots stretch back to World War II. Back then, the U.S. military used the vehicles to get around, and the automobiles left over after the war were used by locals in the Philippines. These are still popular today, with many people decorating the jeepneys in religious scenes and bold colors before using them to transport passengers, goods and even livestock, the Bangkok Post reported. Pope Francis' ride will be a bit different. His jeepney features a plain white exterior with stainless steel strips on the sides. According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, there's also the papal coat of arms adorning the outside of the car, along with an eight-pointed star and the emblem of the Society of Jesus. The jeepney runs on a manual transmission and a diesel engine. It may be hard for Filipinos to see that decor, but they should have no trouble spotting the pope himself. During some pre-pope vehicle maintenance, a secure, raised platform was added to the bed to allow the pope a better vantage point. In addition to white leather and safety features like seat belts, the interior has also been given auto air conditioning service to keep the pope as comfortable as possible. Pope Francis behind the wheel  This isn't the first time the pope has made headlines for the type of car he'll be driving. Although he has access to the famous popemobile, he often leaves it behind in favor of open-top cars that allow him to interact more directly with people. CNN Money reported that Pope Francis is raffling off a 4x4 Fiat Panda, which was gifted to him earlier in his reign. Anyone eager to own this car will have to travel to Rome, however, as raffle tickets can only be purchased at the Vatican. The leader of the Catholic church has no need for the Fiat - in addition to the papal cars that take him around, he has also been spotted taking public transportation around the city of Rome.
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