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I can’t really speak for NYC or LA, since I have never lived in either one for any appreciable amount of time, but in Chicago, it’s because of vastly unequal access to public transportation. Housing demand is skyrocketing in neighborhoods near L train stations, while the population is dwindling on the west and south sides of the city where train service is virtually non-existent. Nobody wants to commute to work via two 45-minute bus rides, and driving to the loop from those far-flung neighborhoods is cost-prohibitive for all but the wealthiest people (not to mention that it won’t save you much time, even if you can afford it).

West/South sides.

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)

This is a bizarre take. Our transit system definitely needs expansion but the W and S sides are both served by train lines. There are large areas that are pretty far from train service but that's the case on the NW side, too. Maybe you're trying to pull a fast one on people who aren't familiar with Chicago, because I'm not sure why else you wouldn't mention that those parts of town are where most of the black people live, who predominantly make up the demographics that have been leaving the city. They are leaving as a result of the legacy of segregation, and yes, inadequate transit service is an aspect of that, but generally limited economic opportunity and high crime are what drive people to move.

I think the school situation is a big part of it as well. Just anecdotal but almost everyone I know that left it was to go to a better school.

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