There is train access there. However, most people don't go because that's where the dangerous areas are. Also, the train gets pretty agressive in those areas.
> commute to work via two 45-minute bus rides,
That's pretty much what the north side of the city is districted for. It sucks, but the CTA is having budget cuts and the areas don't have that demand, and the politicians fail to understand quality infrastructure. Build a circle line, and I can guarantee you that the city will expand a lot. (Right now businesses/white-collar jobs are primarily locked into loop+west loop)