Huh, my Find function on Acrobat appears busted.
Anyway, I would personally rule that this is an "air-breathing mermaid," as Exalted fandom has put it - that is, it adds implied requirements that contradict the rest of canon. Leap of Homecoming, for example, does not mention this requirement, it doesn't seem to mesh with any other Rego Corpus guidelines and would make Rego Corpus in general significantly less useful, so my best reconciliation of this is that the writer of Wizard's Leap got the rule wrong.
@Lindenius: HoH:TL 80 does provide an answer to your question. Leap of Homecoming was known at the founding of the Order, but the advantages for mass transit and trade meant that Mercere's Portals became the standard method of moving Redcaps long distances, especially to fixed locations like...well, covenants. In short, Mercere's Portals are more broadly useful.
Anyway, there's problems with your assumptions for Leap of Homecoming. A Verditius with "the right set of skills and virtues" is not something House Mercere can guarantee to have on hand as needed - how many Verditii who specialize in magical transportation items are there, anyway, and how many other demands on their time do they have? The default assumption for the Order is that even vital groups like House Guernicus and House Mercere have to bargain and trade with everyone else to get what they need; they don't usually have the required Verditii on staff. (Also, the assumption for a Verditius of master rank is that he probably has an oversized ego and will not be staff to anyone.)
Also, it's kind of a pain in the rear to have Arcane Connections for every Covenant and carry them around. Furthermore, they'd have to land outside the Aegis.
Now, with all this said, I imagine that senior Redcaps do have Leap of Homecoming items, because they're very useful for Redcap stuff (Leap of Homecoming is a serious enough enchantment that Redcaps at Gauntlet will not have it unless they want to spend the majority of their allowance), but the cheaper method is to use the portal network where possible and use one's legs where not. And Leap of Homecoming still requires the Redcap in question to have an AC; this in particular increases the likelihood of the covenant getting a portal instead of a jumper.
Also, remember that Redcaps still have to do two seasons of work a year, and get supported on the basis of arriving, delivering the mail and staying for a few days, then hoofing it off to the next post. A Redcap with a Leap of Homecoming item doesn't get to do eight covenants in one season instead of four a season for two seasons, so the Redcap has little real incentive to take a "labor-saving device" as one of his personal items. (A Redcap who lives at a covenant might think differently, of course.)
Finally, don't knock tradition, it's done a wonderful job at dragging the Order down into a swamp so far